Sunday, May 24, 2015

2005 - THE PRIZE WINNER OF DEFIANCE, OHIO - an OK middle class drama.

"Based on a true story" says the title card at the beginning of the film and who will ever know how true this is.  In order to support her large family because her alcoholic husband is blowing every paycheck on booze.  Evelyn Ryan enters lots and lots of contests and wins enough stuff to keep the family afloat financially.

Julianne Moore plays Evelyn Ryan and she has the look down and gives a very good performance.  The film has a few clever bits with characters breaking the 4th wall and talking directly to the viewer.  The production is modest but decent and the film has an upbeat ending with a message of sort of 50's female empowerment.

The film underperformed at the box office and it's easy to understand why.  The problem was with the casting of Julianne Moore.  Moore is a fine actress but she is not really what I would call a star.  Nobody lines up to see the latest Julianne Moore film.  She may play to the art house crowd but she is nobody's idea of a commercial star.

This film popped up on Netflix and that's probably the perfect place for it.  The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio.  Plays perfectly well while sitting at home in front of the TV.

99 minutes.

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