The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio

Synopsis: Anything is possible with a little laughter and a lot of heart in this incredible true story of an extraordinary woman who raised 10 kids on 25 words or less. Academy Award nominee Julianne Moore stars as Evelyn Ryan, a devoted housewife and mother, who uses her knack for words to win thousands of dollars in “jingle contests” to keep her family together. Also starring Academy Award nominee Woody Harrelson, this witty and engaging comedy celebrates the power of a winning spirit.

The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio 8.5

What can I say? Faced daily with a modern life rife with cynicism, sarcasm and genuine meanness, it was quite refreshing to watch a sincerely inspiring film about hope and tenaciousness in the face of adversity – as opposed to those cheesy, Disney-fied, cookie-cutter movies we often see.

‘The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio’ is based on the true story of a woman who pretty much kept her family together by partaking in write-in contests during the ’50s and early ’60s. It’s taken from the book, which was written by one of her daughters – one of the many children that were graced with a mother’s permanent smile and heartfelt devotion to her family.

It’s a genuinely upbeat, feel-good film: even when the chips are down, it finds a way to remind us that attitude is everything and that we should always cherish the small victories – every single moment of every single day. Clichéd? Not at all, as this film passes on its message with class and finesse. And humour.

It’s a perfect vehicle for Julianne Moore, who is absolutely amazing in the lead role. Not a moment feels forced or fake when she’s on-screen, and one would be hard-pressed to imagine anyone else as perfectly-suited for this part (aside from Meryl Streep, that is – who would certainly have done equally well).

It’s a terrible shame that she was over-looked during the awards season, because her performance is inspired as much as this film is inspiring.

Wonderful. Absolutely wonderful. A total delight.

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