‘CODA’ is the first movie from a streaming service to win Best Picture Academy Award

Remix By Keane Eacobellis

This year’s Academy Award for Best Picture goes to CODA.

The film won every award it was nominated for, also bringing home Best Adapted Screenplay and a Best Supporting Actor trophy for Troy Kotsur. In addition to Kotsur being the first deaf man to win an acting Academy Award, the Apple TV Plus movie is the first film from a streaming service to win the award. Marlee Matlin previously became the first deaf actor to win an Academy Award for 1986’s Children of a Lesser God.

'CODA' Wins Best Picture
Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images

While an ASL interpreter signed next to him, producer Phillippe Rousselet gave a gracious and humble speech.

“Sian. It hasn’t been an easy ride, from our first day shooting when our cast and crew were supposed to be up at 4am at sea when we were told a giant storm was about to hit us. It was only the beginning of our problems. But you’ve kept the boat afloat. And you’ve been the best captain a producer can ever dream of. Really.

To our incredible cast, you guys have made such a wonderful and loving family onscreen but also offscreen. And everybody wants to be a part of it. And contrary to you, Ruby, no one seems to want to leave it.”

The award caps off one of the oddest periods of American film history. The depressed box office for all but the most hotly-anticipated tentpole franchise films has thrown into stark contrast the difference between the kinds of films Hollywood prides itself on making and the movies audiences actually want to see.

But in a race with no clear frontrunner, it was anybody’s trophy to lose. And Sian Heder, director of CODA, certainly beat out a field of some of the Academy’s current favorite filmmakers, including Guillermo del Toro, Adam McKay, and Steven Spielberg, arguably the greatest filmmaker in the world.

It was a relief to see such a celebration of a wholesome film that is so good-natured and positive.