Coda (2020)

5.91 h 37 min202013+
A famous pianist (Patrick Stewart) struggling with stage fright late in his career finds inspiration with a free-spirited music critic (Katie Holmes). CODA also stars Giancarlo Esposito.
Claude Lalnde
Patrick StewartKatie HolmesGiancarlo Esposito
DramaArts, Entertainment, and CultureInternational
English [CC]
Audio languages
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Supporting actors
Christoph Gaugler
Nicolas Comeau
Gravitas Ventures
Content advisory
Smokingalcohol usefoul languagesexual contentviolence
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3.9 out of 5 stars

967 global ratings

  1. 52% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 16% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 15% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 6% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 11% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United States

The HermitReviewed in the United States on February 6, 2020
4.0 out of 5 stars
This movie is not for everyone.
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If you like action movies, and superheroes, and noise and clear plot lines, this movie is not for you. If you are a thinker, probably an introvert, philosophical, and appreciate classical music, it might be for you. Personally, I loved this movie. I get it, and found it moving and beautifully made. But if you can't find your own meaning in an existential plot, you'll be left wanting.

Even though I loved it, I only gave it four stars because I think there are places where the plot could be a little more developed. But for those of you who like to sit and ponder meaning in the universe, and the cruelty and randomness of life, you might like it.
42 people found this helpful
Jenelle's Honest ThoughtsReviewed in the United States on January 18, 2022
5.0 out of 5 stars
I watched the wrong movie
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So I rented this movie because I thought that it was a different movie about people who were hard of hearing and I watch the whole thing right before class to write a paper about it and then I realize that it was the wrong movie and that I had to watch another movie in like 30 minutes so I had to Google search a summary of a movie to write a paper and it was honestly not a good vibe. But the movie itself was really good all things aside. I was really confused why nobody was hard of hearing and I was waiting for it to show up but he never showed up and it really confuse me but it was a really good movie anyway.
14 people found this helpful
linda galellaReviewed in the United States on March 11, 2021
5.0 out of 5 stars
“Without music, life would be a mistake”
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This quote from Nietzsche happens early on in this film and it’s a subtle, underlying theme for the movie. This is also an atypical mystery; and investigation into the broken psyche of a concert pianist who’s grieving the loss of his wife and fearing the impending loss of his career.

Patrick Stewart is brilliant as the aging but incredibly well conditioned pianist. His agent and friend of many years is played by the capable Giancarlo Esposito. Katie Holmes is the third player in the trilogy of stars that anchor this movie and I was quite surprised by her performance. The last time I saw her perform is was plastic and stilted but she was warm and engaged, quite believable in this role as a grounding soul for Stewart’s character.

I’ve been playing the piano for 55+ years and even did the professional gig a go for a brief moment in time. My 80 hour weeks in the corporate world were a picnic comparatively. Stewart does a great job relating the stress of an aging musician. Whoever they used to actually play the piano for the closeup scenes was brilliant, especially with those hands that have the obvious signs of age related arthritis: swelling, shiny skin, unnaturally bent finger, stiff wrists & thumbs, to name just a few. Oh yeah, I almost forgot the tremors! Those are really interesting to deal with, especially because they come and go without warning and almost eliminate the ability to play, at all.

These symptoms manifest as stage fright or does the stage fright make symptoms? There’s the mystery. I have my theory for the answer but then I’ve got my own personal experience to draw from in solving this crime against art.

Cinematography in this film is lovely, especially the Switzerland scenery. As this is a character driven story, the tight shots between players and the music scenes are also really well done as is the sound. It was so nice to be able to set the BOSE sound bar once at the beginning of the movie and not need to adjust it throughout the entire thing!

Great acting & music with a positive message; it’s life WITH music, no mistake here🍿

March Mystery 2021 #8
16 people found this helpful
RebeccaReviewed in the United States on April 21, 2020
5.0 out of 5 stars
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I have no words for this exquisite film. All that comes to mind are the words of Helen Keller: “The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched~ they must be felt with the heart.“
20 people found this helpful
ShamankaReviewed in the United States on April 25, 2020
5.0 out of 5 stars
It was delightful to watch this movie!
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It was delightful to watch this movie - I play classical piano and can totally relate to experiencing nervousness and forgetfulness during a recital or competition. Absolutely love the two main characters, the beautiful Swiss Alps and thought provoking ambience. I don't care what the critics say - I could watch it many more times!!
14 people found this helpful
NoniBReviewed in the United States on November 11, 2020
4.0 out of 5 stars
Beautifully Written
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The script for this film is so beautifully written, with phrases I actually wrote down. As a musician, I did enjoy the long interludes in the film that were just music accompanying gorgeous landscapes. However, this movie will be slow and a bit boring for some, which is why I gave it four stars. And, I must confess that it has a lot of sadness. But the main character does overcome his adversities, and is able to move forward with his life.
7 people found this helpful
ShedBikerReviewed in the United States on March 27, 2022
5.0 out of 5 stars
Watch this film
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I mistakenly thought this was the "Coda" nominated for an Oscar. I was wrong, but boy, am I glad I watched this film. A beautifully written story of a pianist losing his performance edge and the young woman who helps him regain it - to an extent. Patrick Stewart and Katie Holmes are amazing. At points, Stewart's aging character is subtly reminded of his own boyhood. In the case of one young man who asks him for his autograph after a performance, he takes the boy on stage in the now-empty auditorium and has him play a piece he's learned; in the same auditorium, on the same piano that Stewart's character played minutes before for the concert. It's as if he passing the baton. The piano playing scenes are realistic, and the discussions of piano and performance are realistic. The story is really touching. Watch this film. I think you'll be glad you did.
3 people found this helpful
TurfseerReviewed in the United States on March 31, 2022
2.0 out of 5 stars
Despite solid score and cinematography, tale of aging concert pianist lacks dramatic punch
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Warning: Spoilers Rating: 2.5 out of 5.0

Films about musicians or painters are always problematic since their artistic output is usually more interesting than the lives and interpersonal relationships of the artists themselves.

Coda starring Patrick Stewart as the aging concert pianist Henry Cole is no exception. Predictably there is a much greater emphasis on the protagonist's internal arc than the external one.

Henry's internal arc revolves around whether he can continue his comeback tour after taking a long sabbatical following his wife's death (which is revealed as a tragic suicide). His personal demons which includes depression takes a toll on his actual performances in public to the point where he pauses before completing a musical piece during one particular concert.

Henry's external arc revolves around his relations with two critical characters: his loyal agent Paul (Giancarlo Esposito) and The New Yorker reporter Helen Morrison (Katie Holmes) who was inspired by him as a teenager right before giving up a music career and going into journalism.

Part of the plot involves Helen trying to convince Henry to permit an interview which will appear in The New Yorker. When he freezes trying out a newly tuned piano at Steinway Hall, she provides a rudimentary accompaniment which saves him from embarrassment.

After that Henry grants Helen the interview and the finished product serves as a source of voiceover narration throughout the narrative.

There is so little conflict in this film that director Claude Lalonde must fall back on the music, some sweeping cinematography and a surfeit of intelligent dialogue to keep our interest.

Nonetheless should we really care about Henry Cole? He's a bit full of himself and the issues he's dealing with-depression and encroaching old age-just don't lend themselves to much compelling drama at all.

Esposito and Holmes are fine in their roles but they ultimately have little to do in moving the plot along. If you can tolerate all of the concert pianist's "angst," then perhaps you'll like Patrick Stewart's performance.

I was uncertain about the film's climax-did Henry finally decide to call it quits or was there a sudden reversal in which he decides to play at the London concert? In the end I appreciated the music and the visual style of the film but the narrative focusing on the twilight of an aging concert pianist's career simply was too slow-moving and undramatic to really draw me in.
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