- Starring: Julianne Moore, Laura Dern, Woody Harrelson
- Summary: Based on a true story, this film features Julianne Moore as a 1950's mother who defies the conventions of the day and finds a way to keep her family together by applying her remarkable resourcefulness and uncommon wit. (Go Fish Pictures)
- Director: Jane Anderson
- Genre(s): Biography, Drama
- More Details and Credits »
TinaA.10Julianne Moore is brilliant, and this movie is amazing.
ChadShiira8Since the filmmaker didn't want to throw dad(Woody Harrelson) under a bus, "The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio doesn't quite add up, because the historical Kelly, we intuit, was a lot drunker than this film would care to admit. There's a disconnect between the family's attitude towards Kelly and his actual on-screen actions. Mr. Kelly drinks, but he's not a roaring drunk like Charles Bukowski. What man alive wouldn't take to the bottle if his disposition was being married with ten kids? Things get a little overblown when Tuff (Ellary Porterfield) jumps on her father at the flashpoint of a strapped-for-cash-inspired family crisis. Her actions suggest a history of spousal abuse, which is, at best, inferred. Nonetheless, "The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio" is a good film that flirts with greatness when Tuff emerges from the obscurity of her voluminous siblings and engages in mother-daughter heart-to-hearts with Evelyn(Julianne Moore) on a road trip across the state line. Like "Almost Famous", the film starts off as a personal story, and then tells the larger story of an impasse in American history. In the Crowe film, Lester Bangs saw how rock and roll was on the brink of codification but mentored young William Miller to be impervious to its evils. In this film, Evelyn foresees "the death of literacy"(when writing contests are replaced by instant riches that require no talent, in which she accurately diagnoses as a symptom), but inspires three of her daughters to be writers anyway. Moore, once again("Far From Heaven", of course, being the left bookend), proves to be a poetess of the pre-bra burning woman. "The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio" is a real sleeper. It committed "hara-kiri" by sticking with such an ungainly title.… Expand
MarcK6I know it's so cliche to say, "it wasn't as good as the book," but I must say that here. The book was tremendous...this movie was merely a bit above average. Yes, Julianne Moore does an excellent job in the title role. But Woody Harrelson isn't so good as the drunk Dad/Husband. In the book, he was pretty much a peripheral character, but in movies, there is a demand for dramatic tension, which is why that role is much more prominent than in the book.… Expand