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The latest prediction from our film awards maven Clayton Davis is that coming-of-age drama “CODA” will run away with the best picture Oscar at the March 27 ceremony.

I have to say that would be awfully fabulous given that everyone — me included — loves a little-engine-that-could underdog story, and this feel-good, scrappy movie filmed in a short amount of time certainly fits that bill. A remake of an award-winning French film, “La Famille Bélier,” the story, written and directed by Siân Heder, centers on the only hearing member of a deaf family (played by Emilia Jones) who’s torn between pursuing her passion for music and her fear of abandoning her family’s fishing business.

“CODA” made history at last month’s Screen Actors Guild Awards, becoming the first film with a predominantly deaf cast to win the top award for cast ensemble. Additionally, the film’s Troy Kotsur was the first deaf actor to take home a SAG Award. If he goes on to win the supporting actor Oscar, as expected, he’ll be the second deaf actor in history to do so — his “CODA” co-star Marlee Matlin claimed the lead actress trophy for her starring role in 1986’s “Children of a Lesser God.”

Lest we forget, when Apple TV Plus acquired “CODA” at the Sundance Film Festival — where it had its worldwide premiere on Jan. 28, 2021 — for an eye-popping $25 million, lots of industry insiders balked at the price. It was the most money any distributor had ever laid out for a Sundance offering, and many saw it as a desperate attempt by Apple to prove it’s a player in the content business.

There’s certainly a long history of companies grossly overspending for festival titles after getting drawn into a bidding frenzy but later regretting it when those movies flopped at the box office. One of many standout examples was when Castle Rock bought the 1996 Sundance Audience Award winner “The Spitfire Grill” for $10 million — at the time tripling the most money ever paid for an indie film — only to see it embarrassingly underperform.

But Apple, like all streamers, claims to not care about box office revenue, instead measuring success by the number of new subscribers it can sign up by offering great content. “CODA” had only a very limited theatrical release in the U.S. (about 100 theaters) simultaneous with its Apple TV Plus debut, and it was rereleased in cinemas for a free weekend run following its Oscar nominations.

Apple has much to be proud of: “CODA” garnered top honors at SAG and received three Oscar nominations, including adapted screenplay for Heder. And if the movie takes the top prize, Apple will become the first streamer to win a best picture Oscar.

Netflix also strongly covets that breakthrough best picture Oscar for “The Power of the Dog,” which garnered 12 nominations, including one for director Jane Campion, who is by far the front-runner in the race.

This could very well be a history-making year. Bring it on!