The 94th Academy Awards took place Sunday evening, and though plenty of people are taking to the internet to discuss what happened between Chris Rock and Will Smith, CODA won several awards, including Best Picture. The film also took home historic wins for both the deaf community and Apple.
CODA Brings Historic Victory to Deaf Community
Running against titles such as Licorice Pizza, Dune, and Don’t Look Up, CODA accepted multiple historic wins. In addition to taking home Best Picture, lead actor Troy Kotsur made Academy Award history. Last night, Kotsur became the first deaf male actor to win Best Supporting Actor.
Kotsur made sure to be inclusive in his acceptance speech. The actor dedicated his win to the deaf community, the CODA community, as well as the disabled community. During his speech, Kotsur declared, “This is our moment.”
While Kotsur made history being the first deaf male actor to win an Oscar, his co-star Marlee Matlin is the first deaf actor to ever receive the award. Matlin earned her Oscar in 1986 for her role in Children of a Lesser God. This made Matlin the first deaf actor to win an Oscar. Interestingly, she was also the youngest to win Best Supporting Actor, at the age of 21.
This is also the first Oscar win for Apple TV+. This is surprising considering that this is only its second year to be eligible for nominations. Apple TV+ is now the first streaming service to win an Oscar for Best Picture.
While CODA was nominated for six awards, it brought home an impressive three. In addition to winning Best Picture and Best Supporting Actor, director Sian Heder also nabbed a golden statue for Best Adapted Screenplay.
Based on the 2014 French film La Famille Bélier, the English remake focuses on protagonist Ruby Rossi. Being the only hearing member in a deaf family, the story follows her as she tries to manage her family life with her passion for music.
The Future is Bright for Streaming Services
While this is certainly exciting and welcoming news for the deaf community, this also creates a brighter future for streaming services. Oscar voters have had reservations about nominating streaming films for awards, but recent trends have given streaming services more credibility. In thanks to things such as COVID-19, the reliance on physical theaters is waning. As eight of the ten Best Picture nominees were available for streaming before the awards ceremony, streaming services are starting to gain credibility.
It has been reported that Apple acquired CODA for $25 million after the film premiered at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival. The film has been streaming on Apple TV+ since August 2021.