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CODA seemed to be an underdog for Best Picture at the Oscars as it only has three nominations. However, CODA’s success during the awards circuit made it a possible contender for the coveted award. Its recent win at the Producers Guild of America Awards now makes CODA the frontrunner for Best Picture and there are many reasons why its odds went up. 

‘CODA’ is having success at the awards circuit

The cast of CODA excepts the award for best picture at the PGA Awards
Daniel Durant, Marlee Matlin, Troy Kotsur and Sian Heder | Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Directed by Sian Heder, CODA began its streak of success at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival. It won the Grand Jury prize which is the biggest award given out at the festival. The movie was then acquired by Apple and was distributed on Apple TV+. Critics and audiences fell in love with it, creating awards buzz for it as one of the best-reviewed moves of the year. 

CODA’s first big win came at the 28th Screen Actors Guild Awards where it won Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture, becoming the first predominantly deaf cast to win this award. Troy Kotsur also won for best supporting actor, becoming the first deaf actor to do so. 

That win already boosted the odds of the film winning best picture at the Oscars. With CODA’s Best Theatrical Motion Picture win at the PGA Awards, the film now may be the frontrunner for Best Picture at the Academy Awards. 

What are the odds of the film winning Best Picture at the Oscars? 

CODA has many things going for it and against it in terms of Best Picture. The main statistic in the movie’s favor is that, according to The Hollywood Reporter, in the “current era of the preferential ballot, meaning the last 12 years,” every film that “won both the top SAG and PGA prizes” has won Best Picture. This includes The King’s Speech, Argo, and Birdman

In addition, CODA’s PGA win happened during the final round of Oscar voting (March 17-22), which could give it a boost in momentum. However, there are still a few things going against CODA, mainly its lack of Oscar nominations in other categories. 

The movie is only nominated in three categories: Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor, and Best Adapted Screenplay. No film with four or fewer nominations has won Best Picture since 1932 (Grand Hotel). The lack of a Best Director nomination is also notable as the two usually go together. However, it has happened before as Ben Affleck was notably omitted from Best Director for Argo

‘CODA’ has a chance to make history at the Oscars


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If CODA does win Best Picture, it will become the first to do so with a predominantly deaf cast. Kotsur could also become the first deaf actor to win Best Supporting Actor. The film has a lot of tough competition, especially with Jane Campion’s The Power of the Dog, which is up for 12 total nominations. 

The Power of the Dog recently won the Critics’ Choice Award for Best Picture, the BAFTA for Best Film, and the Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture. Kodi-Smit McPhee and Jesse Plemons are also nominated in the same category as Kotsur for The Power of the Dog. The Oscars could pull off a complete surprise and give it another film, such as Licorice Pizza or Dune, but at this time, it seems like CODA and The Power of the Dog have the best chance.

CODA is now streaming on Apple TV+.