The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio
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- Commentary by actress Julianne Moore
- Commentary by director Jane Anderson
- Still gallery
Top Customer Reviews
This could have been grim stuff, but filmmaker Jane Anderson (who won Emmy and WGA awards in 1993 for THE POSITIVELY TRUE ADVENTURES OF THE ALLEGED TEXAS CHEERLEADER-MURDERING MOM, and received Emmy, WGA, and DGA nominations in 2003 for NORMAL), takes her lead from Tuff, adopting Tuff's triumphant tone as her own. As "Evelyn Ryan," Julianne Moore gives a performance of incredible depth and nuance: smiling on the outside, screaming on the inside. Woody Harrelson also succeeds in giving husband "Kelly Ryan" a soul, making it clear that Kelly is just as much a victim of societal expectations as Evelyn is.
I frankly don't know why this film didn't do better at box office, and I predict it will be very popular when it hits the DVD shelves on March 14th. It will, of course, be categorized as "a chick flick," and many men will therefore be loath to see it. That's a shame, because Evelyn Ryan was as uniquely American as Truman Capote, Edward R. Morrow and her other well-known male contemporaries, and even though she encased herself in girdles and dowdy dresses, the heroic dimensions of "a life well lived" are clear for all to see.
Julianne Moore gives one of her signature understated roles as Evelyn Ryan, creating an unlikely character in whom the audience finds a depth of substance and durability. Living in Defiance, Ohio with her machinist cum alcoholic husband Kelly (Woody Harrelson) who is unable to bring home money after his purchases of booze to support his large family. Evelyn copes by entering contests of jingles and poems put out by advertising companies and with her earnings supports her family physically as well as emotionally. Though often thwarted by her husband's actions, she still manages to keep the boat afloat, to maintain her dreams, and to make the best of a bad situation.
Moore is radiant as usual, but in this role she is even more subtle in creating an unlikely character than in even her best films. She is a stunning actress and deserved at least an Oscar nomination for her strong work. The story is based on truth and that helps its credibility as a film. But though the story lacks magnitude, Moore brings it to a level of excellence with her extraordinary gifts. Recommended. Grady Harp, March 06
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I showed the movie to a group of Seniors. It was delightful and has provoked much conversation about the postion of women in society, alcoholism, parenting, advertising and life in... Read morePublished 1 day ago by Kandee Tabor
This story is a slice of life. Great movie for taking you back in time.Published 9 days ago by Linda D.
Love this inspiring tale of such a smart resourceful mother! I bought the book too!Published 9 days ago by Loving Paradise
I first saw this movie on Netflix and loved it. I wanted my mom to see it, so I searched for it, but it had been taken off. I quickly got on amazon and ordered it. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Mrs.H
A friend of mine shared her dvd of this movie with me and now I'm going to get my own copy. What a great movie! I cried so much! Read morePublished 2 months ago by Donna Hill
EXCELLENT!!! One of the best examples of what it's like living with an alcoholic.Published 2 months ago by Umpire Mario
A well done movie about an amazing woman who wouldn't let anything dampen her incredible spirit! Julianne Moore, incredible actress that she is, really captures the sweet,... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Thais Macpherson
We really enjoyed this movie. In spite of her dysfunctional, alcoholic husband, this woman (played beautifully by Julianne Moore) was smart, quick witted and resilient. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Debbie