The Tomatometer rating – based on the published opinions of hundreds of film and television critics – is a trusted measurement of movie and TV programming quality for millions of moviegoers. It represents the percentage of professional critic reviews that are positive for a given film or television show.
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The Tomatometer is 60% or higher.
The Tomatometer is 59% or lower.
Movies and TV shows are Certified Fresh with a steady Tomatometer of 75% or higher after a set amount of reviews (80 for wide-release movies, 40 for limited-release movies, 20 for TV shows), including 5 reviews from Top Critics.
Percentage of users who rate a movie or TV show positively.
Anderson can't do much with the inherent limitations of the hagiopic, which demands a repetitive litany of sacrifice and sanctity, with each hill and every valley designed to further enhance the landscape of inspiration.
Evelyn's behavior just seems surreal, and it doesn't help that the movie never settles on a consistent tone, looking back from an ironic distance at first, then moving in for a painfully close look at the Ryans' tribulations.
There's potential for a poignant metaphor about the sacrifices so many mothers make for their homestead, but Anderson and Moore are so busy creating a blandly perfect domestic goddess that they never stop to wonder about the human being inside.
Prize Winner, written and directed by Jane Anderson, avoids obvious sentiment and predictable emotion and shows this woman somehow holding it together year after year, entering goofy contests that for her family mean life and death.
Even though Prize Winner ultimately asks us to swallow that golfball-size happy pill, Anderson and her not-so-secret weapon Moore are actually clawing their way toward something deeper and far more complex than a cheerful, embroidered slogan.
A true account of how a woman's intelligence and stoicism saves her huge family, The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio sensitively presents an unvarnished view of the 1950s and early '60s through the subtle filter of the present.