The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio Reviews

September 7, 2011
Full Review | Original Score: B-
November 10, 2005
It makes for a nice Mother's Day card. But not enough for a complete movie.
Read More | Original Score: C+
October 20, 2005
Rarely do you have a movie in which both lead actors give Oscar-worthy performances, but Defiance, Ohio is one.
Read More | Original Score: 4/5
October 14, 2005
For once, a true story gets no romanticizing or needless embellishment to become a captivating movie.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
October 14, 2005
An uneven but loving tribute to a remarkable woman -- who would, undoubtedly, have wished to rewrite it herself.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
October 14, 2005
What distinguishes Anderson's work is her obvious empathy with all of her characters, including Kelly Ryan, whom she does not demonize.
Read More | Original Score: 3/4
October 14, 2005
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.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
October 14, 2005
There's not much to the film's story, but the characterization of a family's life is vivid and rich.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
October 13, 2005
It has its own subversive power, as it elevates one family's struggle for working-class survival and valorizes a woman of simple faith and inner strength.
October 13, 2005
A mixed bag of goods. A bag of goods, it definitely is, but without a consistent point of view.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
October 4, 2005
An honest tear-jerker.
October 3, 2005
A bit thin and uninvolving.
September 30, 2005
Smiling through adversity, Moore is the heart and soul of Prizewinner and worthy of prize consideration come Oscar time.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
September 30, 2005
The prize in this movie is Moore, a first-rate actress who finds layers in Evelyn that the script fails to investigate.
Read More | Original Score: 2/4
September 30, 2005
It's time someone awarded Julianne Moore a prize.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
September 30, 2005
Leaves a bitter little aftertaste.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
September 30, 2005
A poignant look at a family overcoming adversity, the film also provides a glimpse of past popular culture many of us know little about.
Read More | Original Score: 3/4
September 30, 2005
The basic, based-on-a-true-story plot -- plucky '50s homemaker provides for her family by entering jingle contests -- is pure Lifetime weepie.
Read More | Original Score: 1.5/4
September 30, 2005
Depicts the Eisenhower years as a golden era when women had the good sense to ditch their careers and endure horrible marriages for the sake of having lots of kids.
Read More | Original Score: 1.5/4
September 30, 2005
The alternating scenes of giddiness and violence create a sense of irreconcilable differences, both for the couple and the audience.
Read More | Original Score: 2.5/4
September 29, 2005
Jane Andersons bittersweet, satirically savvy film tells the true story of a 1950s housewife (Julianne Moore) who helps feed her family by writing jingles.
Read More | Original Score: 4/5
September 29, 2005
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.
Read More | Original Score: 2/4
September 29, 2005
The only thing that stands between this woman and canonization is death.
Read More | Original Score: 2/4
September 29, 2005
The film is mild and tentative, as if Anderson and company had inadvertently given in to the wrong sort of 1950s influence.
Read More | Original Score: 2/4
September 29, 2005
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.
September 29, 2005
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.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
September 28, 2005
Let us praise Julianne Moore, who lifts it above and beyond the banality of a TV sitcom until it sprouts wings.
September 28, 2005
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.
September 28, 2005
[It's] light on conveying any real feelings of Eisenhower-era darkness the prizewinner herself might have felt during her decades of marriage to an abusive, drunken man.
Full Review | Original Score: C-
September 27, 2005
Shameless Eisenhower-era corn.
September 22, 2005
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.
September 21, 2005
A spirited comic drama.