As a CODA (Child of Deaf Adults) Ruby is the only hearing person in her deaf family. When the family’s fishing business is threatened, Ruby finds herself torn between pursuing her love of music by wanting to go to Berklee College of Music and her fear of abandoning her parents.


CODA | August 13, 2021 (United States) Summary:
Countries: France, Canada, United StatesLanguages: American Sign Language, English


Ruby is a senior in high school and the only hearing member of her deaf family including her father Frank mother Jackie and older brother Leo


She works on her father’s fishing boat with her father and brother and enjoys singing as she does so


She translates for her entire family and for their business to the hearing people on the docks and when money doesn’t come in like they think it should Leo suggests selling their own fish directly


Meanwhile, Ruby spends her days at school with her best friend Gertie where some of the other kids make fun of her for smelling like fish and for having a deaf family


Ruby has a crush on Miles and so when she sees him signing up for choir, she does so as well


After school, her parents pick her up in their truck with the music blasting embarrassing Ruby


She accompanies her parents to a doctor’s appointment and has to be deeply embarrassed when having to translate the information that they have jock itch a common ailment among fishermen for being in damp clothes


As the family has dinner together Leo swipes on Tinder


Choir class begins and the teacher,Mr. Villalobos asks each student to sing a little so he can learn their vocal parts but When it’s Ruby’s turn, she becomes too nervous and emotional and runs out of the room


She goes to the water and sings by herself


but then returns home to discover her parents arguing over money having credit cards being declined and bills mounting


Frank says maybe they sell their boat


Meanwhile, at the docks all the fishermen are told that they are going to have to pay eight hundred dollars a day out of pocket for federal observers to come to make sure they are following all their regulations


deeply frustrating all the fishermen who say they can’t afford it


Back at school, Ruby goes back to Mr. Villalobos and explains when she was little


she used to get made fun of for the way she sounded because she spoke like a deaf person and she sometimes gets nervous


Later, Mr. Villalobos finally hears Ruby sing and is very impressed with her voice


He eventually chooses her to sing a duet at the fall concert and pairs her with Miles and He instructs them to practice together


At the docks Ruby finds that Leo is selling the fish for less than they are worth and yells at him about it


She runs into her father outside smoking weed


At school, Mr. Villalobos has Ruby and Miles sing their duet from him and finds they are totally out of sync they practiced separately not together


He tells them to fix it and afterward asks Ruby what her plans after graduating are


Ruby says she isn’t going to college because her family can’t afford it


He an alum of the Berklee College of Music


says they have auditions coming up and have scholarships asks her how she feels when she sings and she signs her response


He offers to tutor her to prepare her for the audition but warms her not to waste his time She accepts


When Ruby tells her mother


she doesn’t seem excited  hurting Ruby’s feelings


Jackie wonders if she was blind if Ruby would take up painting


Meanwhile, Leo has the idea to start a co-op for their sales, but Frank says it would never work, because the other fisherman thinks he’s a joke


Leo goes with the fisherman to their local bar but can’t really communicate with them


When someone spills their drink on him, he gets into a bar fight


Gertie, who works at the bar, talks to him after communicating via text and the two ends up making out in a backroom


Miles comes over to work with Ruby


Slightly uncomfortable and not knowing where to look the two sing back to back and she tells him about her parents’ illness


At school, other kids begin making fun of Ruby about her parents, and she angrily confronts Miles for telling


Miles insists he just told one person but Ruby storms off


At practice, Ruby works on her piece Both Sides Now by Joni Mitchell


Mr. Villalobos encourages her to get angry, and sing from emotion


A council addresses the fisherman about the observers


Frank ends up standing up to speak which Ruby translates


He decides to use Leo’s idea he says they’re starting their own co-op and tells everyone to bring their catch to him and he will sell it for double


At home, Jackie is horrified


Leo says they can finally be part of the fishing community but Jackie says they aren’t and will never be since they can’t communicate with them


Frank points to Ruby as their way of communicating


Ruby begins working constantly on the new business


doing all the translating and keeping up her very busy practice schedule


Jackie tries to communicate with the other wives but feels left out


Mr. Villalobos gets angry with Ruby for being late and not taking the work seriously


He warns her if she is late one more time he will be done tutoring her


Miles finds Ruby and tells her he’s sorry and that he actually admired that she has a family who all love each other unlike his family


At the business, a news crew comes to interview Frank and Jackie


Ruby needs to get to practice and Jackie yells at her that she can’t go


She accuses Ruby of wanting them to fail


Ruby stays and translates for the interview then rushes to Mr. Villalobos‘s house but he doesn’t answer the door done with Ruby not being committed


At school, she goes to see him and apologize but he refuses to continue with her saying he doesn’t need a lesson in failure


Ruby tells her family about how much she loves singing and has a fight with the family about being their interpreter and how exhausted she is


Later, Jackie and Frank argue about Ruby going to college, with Jackie not wanting her to go, wondering what if she’s an awful singer


She says she doesn’t want her baby to go and Frank says she was never a baby


Angry with her family Ruby doesn’t go to work and the observer shows up to monitor Frank’s boat


While Ruby and Miles go swimming together


the observer realizes there is no one hearing working on the boat, and calls the coast guard neither Frank nor Leo hear the sirens


Frank’s license is suspended


and he is levied with huge fines which he won’t be able to pay back without getting back on the water


The only way they can do that is with a hearing deckhand, which Jackie says they can’t afford to hire


and Frank says Ruby is the hearing deckhand


Ruby becomes incredibly emotional asking how they can say it’s Ruby’s fault


When Frank says he’ll sell the business


Ruby agrees to give up on college, and stay and work on the boat insisting she’s excited


Leo gets angry and storms out


Jackie buys Ruby a nice dress for her concert and explains to Ruby that Leo just feels left out


Ruby says if anything, she’s the one out


She asks Jackie if she ever wishes she was deaf and Jackie tells her that when she found out she was hearing her heart sank


because she was afraid she wouldn’t be able to communicate with her, but she loves her the way she is


Ruby goes to see Leo who says Ruby can sing and needs to follow that


He says he hasn’t been able to do anything with the business and is tired of being babied and not being allowed to participate


Ruby says it’s only because it all involves talking to hearing people


and Leo says he doesn’t care let the hearing people figure out how to talk to them


At the concert, the family can’t hear Ruby perform but Gertie tells them she’s doing good


Afterward, Mr. Villalobos introduces himself attempting to say nice to meet you in sign but accidentally saying fuck you


He tells them they’re making a terrible mistake not letting Ruby go to school, but Ruby doesn’t translate it


After the concert Frank asks Ruby what her song was about and asks her to sing it for him


The next day, the whole family takes Ruby to her Berklee audition


The family is told they can’t go into the audition room with Ruby who goes in and finds Miles who says he choked at his audition


The audition begins, and Ruby realizes she left her sheet music


She’s unsure how to go on, when Mr. Villalobos enters and offers to accompany her


She starts off a little rough, and Mr. Villalobos messes up the piano on purpose to let her start again


Her family enters up on the top row of the theater and Ruby sings Both Sides Now, while signing the words


Frank trains a new hearing deckhand and the business begins going well


Jackie even bonds with the other wives and Miles learns some sign language


Ruby gets into Berklee and says goodbye to her family as Gertie drives her away


She stops and runs back to share a group hug with her family and She signs goodbye as the car drives away


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