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Coda review – formulaic yet sweet-natured crowd-pleaser

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A hearing girl with a deaf family is torn between two worlds in a well-intentioned but conventional attempt to win over audiences

There’s an earnest old-fashioned Sundance-ness to writer-director Sian Heder’s broad comedy-drama Coda, the kind of warm-hearted crowd-pleaser that the festival is most widely known for. In any normal year, it would probably have been met with audible approval throughout its premiere. But this isn’t a normal year, with the majority of festival goers watching the film at home, perhaps less pumped up by the thrill of seeing it with a crowd. With or without an audience, it’s a minor film, a little too formulaic at times, a tad too comfortable sticking to a dog-eared playbook, eager to be loved but not really trying hard enough to be remembered.

Related: Sundance 2021: which films might break out this year?

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