Oscar Nominated 'CODA' Mixes Music and Medical Cannabis

Troy Kotsur as Frank says his cannabis use is medicinal in Sian Heder’s "CODA." (CelebStoner image via Apple+)

It's been quite the awards season for Troy Kotsur, who plays pot-smoking fisherman Frank Rossi in the Oscar nominated CODA.

He's won or been nominated as Best/Outstanding Supporting Actor by the following awards: (won) Academy, SAG, Independent Spirit, BAFTA, Critics Choice, Gotham, Hollywood Critics Assocation; (lost) Golden Globes, Georgia Film Critics, Seattle Film Critics, Alliance of Women Film Journalists, Gold Derby and Dorian. That's a lot of nominations and wins.

At the Oscars on March 27, Kotsur dedicated the award to "the deaf community, the CODA communty and the disabled community. This is our moment. I won."

Sian Heder's film gained Oscar momentum as it too picked up coveted awards from SAG, NAACP. Producer's Guild, Writer's Guild and Hollywood Critics. A mostly deaf family runs a fishing boat in the Atlantic off Gloucester, Mass. Only Ruby (Emilia Jones) can hear (she's a "child of deaf adults"). There's intense pressure on Ruby to interpret for father Frank, mother Jackie (Marlee Matlin) and brother Leo (Daniel Durant). Kotsur, Matlin and Durant are all deaf. 

In her last year of high school, Ruby tries out for the choir. She quickly becomes a stand-out singer, but her parents disapprove of Ruby going away to a music college. It's quite a performance by Jones, who was acknowleged with numerous awards (she won Gotham, Critics Choice, Santa Barbara, Seattle and Women Film Journalists).

Ruby: "I don't think being deaf makes it legal to spark a fatty."

The day Ruby and her BF Gertie (Amy Forsyth) sign up for electives, Ruby jokes she's going to take, "like, Film School." Gertie replies: "Also known as 'put your back-pack down and smoke a bowl.'"

Frank hits a joint in one scene when he's standing on a dock. In sign Ruby reminds him, "We're in public!" Frank, who wears a Red Sox hat and has a long graying beard, signs back, "It's medical."

"I don't think being deaf makes it legal to spark a fatty," Ruby replies.

Watch CODA on AppleTV+


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Steve Bloom

Steve Bloom

Publisher of CelebStoner.com, former editor of High Times and Freedom Leaf and co-author of Pot Culture and Reefer Movie Madness.