CODA: Cast of Oscar Frontrunner Best Picture at the White House

Over a month ago, we predicted that CODA would win Best Picture.

CODA: Cast’s White House Visit

How Emilia Jones, Troy Kotsur, Marlee Matlin and Daniel Durant ended up with President Biden in the Oval Office.


On Tuesday afternoon, as the final round of Oscars voting closed, the principal cast of frontrunner best picture Oscar nominee CODA — Emilia JonesTroy KotsurMarlee Matlin and Daniel Durant — was–surprise–at the White House.

How the trip came about? What occurred while Team CODA was at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

President Joe Biden and First Lady Dr. Jill Biden both watched CODA and loved it.

Dr. Biden then invited the cast to come to the White House for  meet and greet with her and to sit down with the White House Domestic Policy Council and Office of Public Engagement to discuss inclusion, access and employment for Deaf Americans.

After paying a visit to D.C.’s Gallaudet University, research university for the deaf and hard of hearing (which counts Kotsur and Durant as alums and Matlin as an honorary trustee), and doing a Q&A with students and meeting with university president Roberta Cordano, the quartet headed over to the White house.

Following the pre-scheduled meeting with the DPC and OPE, the group was offered a private tour of the premises, during which they were surprised at the White House’s Entrance Hall — also known as the Grand Foyer of the State Floor — by the United States Marine Band, which performed “You’re All I Need to Get By,” a song prominently featured in the film. While collecting themselves emotionally, the three deaf cast members placed their hands on a piano so that they could feel the vibrations of the music, and Jones sang along.

THR has obtained never-before-seen footage of this interaction (see below), courtesy of Matlin’s longtime interpreter Jack Jason.

A subsequent stop on the tour was the historic White House screening room, where, the cast learned, CODA had been screened for White House staff days earlier and played through the roof.

After snapping photos there, they completed their tour, and then had what they had been led to believe would be a brief meet-and-greet with Dr. Biden.

Another surprise: Dr. Biden asked them to follow her — and walked them directly into the Oval Office, where they were warmly received by and posed for photographs with Pres. Biden. Matlin has said she was “blown away” when both Bidens told the cast how much they loved the film and its themes of family and authenticity.

Thus ended a most thrilling day at the tail-end of a most thrilling season at the tail-end of a most thrilling journey for CODA which started at Sundance in January 2021 and will come to an end, as the top winner, on Sunday evening.