Tuesday, May 12, 2015

A Movie You Might Have Missed #48: The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio

She raised 10 kids on 25 words or less.

#48. The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio

Julianne Moore portrays Evelyn Ryan, a 1950s housewife with 10 children. Submitting jingles, slogans and songs to product contests, she wins prizes and cash that help their family scrape by. Her husband, Kelly, (Woody Harrelson) is an alcoholic who spends a hefty portion of his paycheck on the nightly fifth of whiskey and six-pack of beer so Evelyn's talent with words is much needed.

This started off fun and cute, with stylized presentation that made us think of Pushing Daisies. Then, just when we thought there wasn't more to say, it veered into deeper waters thanks to the complex issues caused by the alcoholic husband. Although it is treated more lightly than in some movies, the film's power comes from watching how Evelyn copes with her husband and the issues his dysfunction raises in the family.

I enjoyed it much more than I thought I would and we've had several conversations about the movie since seeing it. All of which is what made me recommend it to you!

I chose this movie because of the Maltlin on Movies podcast episode about Julianne Moore. I've been enjoying the podcast and it has been adding to my list of movies to try. So far we're off to a good start.

NOTE: I subsequently read the book and found this movie to be a very good adaptation of it. Both are worth experiencing for their own worth.


  1. I loved this one! I read the book first and was also impressed with it. Both are hidden gems. Glad you enjoyed it, too!

    ~Christine :)

    1. I'm reversing your order and am now reading the book. I've just begun it but am enjoying it a lot so far!