Editor’s Note: Gene Seymour is a critic who has written about music, movies and culture for The New York Times, Newsday, Entertainment Weekly and The Washington Post. Follow him on Twitter @GeneSeymour. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author. View more opinion on CNN.

CNN  — 

Why overthink this? “CODA” is going to win Best Picture at Sunday night’s Academy Awards. Period. End of story. Bet the house – and you can bet mine, too. Probably.

Gene Seymour

It has already won the Producers Guild’s top prize and the best movie ensemble award from the Screen Actors Guild and the best adapted screenplay award from the Writers Guild.

But it’s more than that. “CODA,” as many of you know either from having seen or heard about it, tells a tender and uplifting story. A withdrawn-but-pugnacious teenager named Ruby (Emilia Jones) from Gloucester, Massachusetts, is the only person in her deaf family (a “CODA” is “a child of deaf adult(s)”) who can hear.

She helps her dad and mom (best supporting actor nominee Troy Kotsur and 1986 best actress winner Marlee Matlin) with their struggling fishing business while pitching in with her dad and older brother (Daniel Durant) on their boat.

When Ruby joins her high school choir, she discovers she has the kind of singing talent that can carry her quite far – out of Gloucester, away from fishing and from the family who still needs her help.

Even if you haven’t seen it, you can sort of tell how and where the emotional arc of this story is going to bend. But writer-director Sian Heder’s feature tells its story with warmth, grace and gentle humor. Its characters’ complexities and quirks are treated with equanimity and the cast responds to this solicitousness by giving its all.