Thursday, August 23, 2012

Movie Review: The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio


I still have my trusty list of Leonard Maitlin's 151 Best Movies You've Never Seen.  Leonard Maitlin is a film critic and cinema historian.  The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio is on his list.

Starring Julianne Moore and Woody Harrelson, the story is quite endearing.  Harrelson plays Kelly Ryan, a factory worker barely making enough money to support his wife and ten children.  Moore plays his wife, Evelyn.  Kelly is given to drinking binges and fits of rage.  When Kelly isn't drinking they are a happy family.

Evelyn has a skill which keeps the family going.  She writes prize winning jingles and sells the prizes when they arrive.  The problem is that her constant wins further alienate Kelly.  Although this scenario may sound like a "downer" the  movie is actually interesting, sweet and even funny at times.

I was very surprised to learn this movie is based on a book and the book is based on a true character.  This is a put-my-feet-up-with-a-cup-of-tea-in-the-afternoon kind of movie.  Enjoy.