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re: CODA is a decent movie about an outstanding subject
Posted by: Chazwaza 03:36 am EDT 07/06/22
In reply to: CODA is a decent movie about an outstanding subject - WaymanWong 09:26 pm EDT 07/01/22

I think very few people, critics, or awards bodies, would agree that the original wasn't a cinematic masterpiece... though I'm going to assume your caps AND was to separate the two points... so i assume we agree on that part. And we agree that the casting of the Puerto Rican characters was, in most cases, a terrible mistake.

I am very quick to acknowledge the major issues of some of the casting, and sad that that was a very common thing of that time... but it was definitely a thing of/in the time. That doesn't make it ok by any stretch, or something to ignore now, but it's also disingenuous to talk about it as if it were made 15 years ago with white actors playing Puerto Ricans or put in brown face. And I'd say that it's also pretty selective to say it wasn't a showcase for Latino talent as if there is NO latino talent in the movie and NO showcasing of it... several cast members were hispanic, but the movie is an extraordinary showcase for one particular Latina, a Puerto Rican even, who stole the movie and won an Oscar. Anita/Rita has always been the one who shined brightest from that movie and got the biggest showcase as an actor/dancer/singer -- much more than anyone else in the cast. Of the 3 main Puerto Rican roles, the fact that only 1 was actually a Hispanic actor is shameful and sad (though of course with no discrediting to the talents of the extraordinary George Chakiris (I'm not even sure if he's technically white or not, Greek parents from Turkey, but not Latino which is the point) who won an Oscar too, or Natalie Wood, who was even more miscast than George who was at least a Robbins and WSS vet, a very specific casting prerequisite for a film)... but let's not erase her or her race to make an even stronger case against the inappropriate casting decisions for the original movie... the case is strong as it is, and regardless of that Rita is Hispanic, she is Puerto Rican, and she got an incredible showcase for her talent and it won her an Oscar.
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