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In. The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio Hide Spoilers. I went into a screening of this film cold. I didn't know anything about it except that it starred Julianne Moore. I walked by a poster of the film on the way into the theater and was horrified, thinking it was going to be a chick flick.
Well, folks. When I go into a theater and I can't take my eyes off the screen and the movie goes by without me ever even checking my watch, I know I've seen a good movie. Moore plays a woman with 10 children. Although her husband works as a machinist, she basically provides for the family by winning all sorts of contests for all kinds of big prizes, including big cash prizes.
The woman is a master of winning these things. It's the one thing that's keeping her family together. She's definitely the hero and the one person everyone looks up to. Definitely an inspiration. I don't want to spoil anything, so I'll stop at that, but I will say that Moore does a great job with her role. Moore's husband in the movie, played by Woody Harrelson with emotional conviction and healthy dose of humanity, has a drinking problem and is a big source of tension inside the household.
To the movie's credit, it doesn't paint the father as the typical one-note, evil, hateful,abusive, drunken father. There's a real character in there who loves his wife and kids and the movie does its best to portray him as fairly as possible despite his drinking problem and fits of rage. The movie does bring out strong emotions from its audience, not quite a tear-jerker but close. It's not the sort of movie I would watch again and again because it's not my type of film, but I was glad for having seen it. There's good acting, good pacing, a good story and possibly most important of all, it is told in an entertaining, gripping fashion.
I wouldn't be surprised to find out if there is an Academy Award nomination in store for Julianne Moore and Woody Harrelson. At the end of the movie, there was a nice round of applause from the audience. I told one lady, "Wow, the two hours just went She said, "It just zipped by. Was this review helpful? Contesting, a trend popular in the 's and 60's, is now all but forgotten. Women across the country used their wit and wordplay to win thousands of dollars by writing slogans for companies to promote their products.
Julianne Moore stars in "The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio," as Evelyn Ryan, one such contester who uses her talents to keep her family fed despite their abject poverty. The film co-stars Woody Harrelson as Evelyn's husband Kelly Ryan, a man struggling with alcoholism and his ill-begotten fate as a factory worker.
Unlike most, Evelyn is not just an occasional contest winner. Her knack for jingle writer provides for her family of twelve and her winning is proportional to her families needs. Throughout the course of the film, her role as breadwinner creates friction between she and her husband, which Evelyn Moore manages with incredible grace and constant optimism. Indeed, Moore is radiant in this role and perfectly cast. Harrelson's performance is equally engaging and his moments of depression and rage are the ideal compliment to Moore's steady courage. Oscar Nominee Laura Dern gives an notable performance as a member of the Affadaisies, a group of contesting mothers which Evelyn befriends.
Dern is quirky and lovable, despite her very small role. The book is authored by Ryan's daughter Terry, who appears in the film and is also re-incarnated as her younger self in the character Tuff, played with strength by Ellary Porterfield who makes her feature film debut.
Terry Ryan admits thats her book's "intent was to bring her mother back to life Thankfully, and unexpectedly, the movie does not suffer from over sentimentalization, thanks to brilliant script adaptation and direction on the part of Jane Anderson who, although lacking feature film experience, creates honest and captivating scenes that beautifully depict the Ryan's family life. Anderson is so expert at using symbols within the film to shape an audiences opinion of the characters, it is barely perceptible on the first viewing.
The film is beautifully layered with symbols of motherhood and Catholicism, none of which are so obvious as to interfere with the lighthearted moments that make the film captivating. Anderson deftly transitions from the high points of the family's success to the terrible depths of their despair, capturing the audience as they share in the Ryan's joys and sorrows. Anderson's hard work in showing the families dynamic is most evident however in the cohesiveness of the Ryan children, all of whom look like a potential genetic pairing between Moore and Harrelson, and all of whom seemed enthusiastic about their work in the film.
Ellory Potterfield Tuff commented that for her, working with Moore emphasized that "there is no acting, only reacting. Zemeckis's initial reaction to the book was that "it seemed like an almost impossible but wonderful story Although there are a points at which the storytelling is inefficient, and the exposition clunky, at points it borders on downright awkward I left the theater feeling as the though the movie could have told more stories of the Ryan's.
I wanted to know more of their lives, and it was that fascination with the characters and events of the film that left me satisfied. The film is as pithy and poignant as one of Evelyn's jingles. Ultimately, Julianne Moore's stoic portrayal of Evelyn is so breathtaking and passionate that any audience member left unmoved should check their pulse.
Butch R 3 December This is one of those films lost in the "tracking" gutter of film marketing. In other words, it was not registering with the public so it got a very small release, and a very small audience. This is a shame because it is a "thinking person's Cheaper by the Dozen". It is a very fine movie that leaves you teared up at the end without a contrived plot. It is a true story with real people and they have real faults-yet they bring out the great and wonderful joys of life found by a woman in what most would consider a terrible circumstance.
If you see one film on sheer recommendation this year, this is the film to see. I own a movie theatre in Kansas City and I am playing the film. It goes on and on and I hope that it will be one of those undiscovered gems for many people this year. Julianne Moore was excellent in her role of Evelyn Ryan. The movie is inspirational and thought provoking for women everywhere.
A great family story. Woody Harrelson was perfectly cast as her alcoholic husband. He portrayed his character Kelly Ryan with just enough intensity and a touch of humor to not take the spotlight away from Julianne's character. The movie was taken from the book by the same name. It was written by Terry Ryan the daughter of Evelyn Ryan. You can sense the genuine connection between each character. Definitely see this one you will not regret it. There is none of that over the top Hollywood glitz and effects just a great story and excellent acting.
Julianne Moore delivers a performance that captures the essence of the American homemaker in the 's. Her strength of character and her intelligence which she utilizes to help clothe and feed her family and keep them together virtually anchors the film. The children, in all their ages, help produce such a powerful film and form the foundation for Julianne Moore's motivation to provide and take care of her family. Woody Harrelson is tremendous, and visually watching his anger and pain explode at times in the film, makes the audience take note of what it must have meant for a father to fail as a breadwinner in the 's.
Julianne Moore makes the film all the more powerful with her portrayal of an American mother who will use her brains and determination to keep her family together. This film is one of the best to come along in CJClark 29 December This one came to me in the form of an Academy screener so it's eligible for Oscars - but I had never heard of it - nor read anything about it.
So, it's a true sleeper. It's not perfect, but it's a really lovely movie nevertheless and deserves to be better known - certainly by Oscar voters who otherwise might give it a miss. Don't mean to be too exuberant, BUT this was a heart-warming movie. Woody Harrelson is perfect in his pathetic role as loser. Consider "Palmetto" and "The Money Train. Yet, in his portrayal of this father of a large family and the husband of a "stand by your man" and "look to the sunny side of life" woman. Woody manages to evoke our pity and makes us reach for understanding. A terrific supporting role.
Julianne Moore, the star of the movie, is the heroine, the mainstay who keeps everything together. Never been out of her little town of Defiance, Ohio it's real, look it up! What an adventure! A different state, even though its hard to tell. This daughter is the story teller, the author of the best selling book that became a movie. She captures the s, the silly excitement of writing a catchy commercial phrase, and the heroism and humor of a large family growing up in an era long gone. It will not be a blockbuster. Opening night, which we wouldn't have missed, was in a large, mostly vacant theatre.
Everyone clapped their approval at the close. I'm guessing that most of us had read the book before going. If you're one of those who haven't read the book, don't worry about it. The movie is like a "To Kill A Mockingbird," in that it captures the book beautifully. Doesn't deny you the pleasure that comes from reading the book; but let's you in on the wonder of it all. I have a feeling this movie will fade from view within a few weeks. It may also be one of those movies that ends up in the Academy Awards for best screenplay, best supporting actor, best actress.
So, don't let it slip away without YOUR seeing it tomorrow or next weekend. These are the kind of movies, and the caliber of performances that are so rewarding you really need to give it a look see. Then, buy the book! We were reluctant to see this film, but since it was the only choice at the time, we took a gamble that paid off in unexpected ways. First of all, this is a charming film that will win even skeptics, like myself. Director Jane Anderson's adaptation of Terry Ryan's book is a sunny portrayal of a woman who in spite of the monetary problems she suffered most of her life, was a winning individual because of the love she had for everyone, even for the husband, that on the surface, didn't appreciate her.
The story of Evelyn Ryan, an amazing woman from Ohio, comes to lie on the screen in the way the superb Julianne Moore portrays her. Evelyn was going places before she got married; she showed such promise, but her marriage to Kelly Ryan transforms her into a woman that has to perform wonders in order to keep her ten children, fed, clothed and educated.
She did a wonderful job with all of them! Evelyn Ryan's talent for winning all kinds of prizes in those contests during the early age of television provides the family with a lot of material things and cash to keep them afloat. While Kelly is spending the money in liquor, Evelyn has to plead with the milkman to extend her credit. Having a strong will and a positive attitude toward life, Evelyn seems to typify that adage, "When life gives you lemons, make lemonade".
Julianne Moore, one of our best actress is perfect as Evelyn Ryan. The film is the surprise it is because of the charisma Ms. Moore, under the direction of Ms. Anderson, gives to the film. Woody Harrelson, as Kelly, is fine as well in conveying the man who seems to have let life defeat him and will not do anything about it. Laura Dern is only seen in a a few scenes, but as always, she is a welcome presence in anything she plays. Ellary Porterfield plays Tuff as different stages of the girl's life.
This is a life affirming film and a tribute to Evelyn Ryan, a woman that in spite of the hard times always found solace in the great family she brought to the world. I saw this Movie and it takes you back to the days before women really had domestic rights. It is not only about a strong and bright woman's struggle to keep her family fed and together it is about why woman started standing up and demanding fair treatment.
This is a must see for all. The acting is exceptional.Fuck the girl you really want in Defiance Ohio
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The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio