Home / The Prize Winner Of Defiance, Ohio Trailer

The Prize Winner Of Defiance, Ohio Trailer

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I just finished watching the Prize Winner Of Defiance, Ohio trailer (Real, Windows Media, Quicktime), and I was utterly shocked and taken by surprise that Julianne Moore was playing a 50’s housewife.

Also, I’m utterly shocked and taken by surprise every time I see a picture of Tara Reid drinking, the words “box office” and “slump” used together, news of unwanted sequels and/or remakes or excessive coverage of the Natalee Holloway case.

In this upcoming flick, Julianne Moore plays a 50’s housewife who
becomes suicidal over her lack of cake-making skills
learns her husband is gay so she hooks up with the Allstate guy
has no concept of birth control so she wins various jingle contests in order to keep her family of ten children afloat but winds up leaving her whiny husband (Woody Harrelson) feeling emasculated.


When the biggest dramatic moment in a trailer consists of all-American mom Julianne Moore throwing what appears to be Cherry Jell-o at a frowny Woody Harrelson who responds by crying “You killed me!”-it’s a pretty sure bet that it’s not going to make Drew’s Top 10 of the year.

In defense of Julianne Moore, her non-50’s housewife movies since 2000 have been excruciating. When she makes comedies, they turn out putrid a la Evolution and Laws Of Attraction. When she makes dramas, it’s tepid fare like The Shipping News. Attempts at indie film wind up unwatchable as in World Traveler and Marie & Bruce. And she’s single handedly killing the thriller genre with flicks like Hannibal and The Forgotten.

It’s heartbreaking, really, because I used to really like her. Heck, she knocked my socks off in four of my favorite movies of the 90’s: Short Cuts, The Big Lebowski, Boogie Nights, and Magnolia. I used to vocally lament her lack of an Academy Award.

But I think I have a solution. Both Altman and the Coens seem to be on hiatus from making the quality films they used to make. So what I’m thinking of doing is entering as many jingle contests as humanly possible and then using my winnings to bribe Julianne Moore into only making movies written and directed by Paul Thomas Anderson. It may be a tough gig, but somebody’s gotta take the ball and run with it.

Drew originally posted this babble at Drew’s Blog-O-Rama, where he can be usually be found kvetching about movies and pop culture. He’s also spent almost ten years (!) providing free movie and television scripts online at Drew’s Script-O-Rama. Because really, what the world was lacking was another whiny bastard who fancies himself a witster, and how could society truly function without free access to scripts like Analyze That and Biker Mice From Mars?

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About Drew

  • I live an hour from Defiance.

    Just sayin’.

  • Having read Drew’s cynical and depressing review of The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio, I just had to speak up in defence of both Julianne Moore and the film. I am just one of several UK fans of the late, great, Evelyn Ryan, and can’t wait to see the movie. The book was an inspiring true story written with humour and great insight, by Terry Ryan – one of Evelyn’s large brood.
    From the trailer, it would appear that Julianne Moore has done a brilliant job of portraying Evelyn. The 1950’s now seem like a period lost in time, and today it’s unthinkable that a wife and mother would have to depend on her wit and wisdom to beat the odds. But as I said; it’s a true story and not a tale concocted by an overly-sentimental script writer.
    Indeed, if Jane Anderson’s past successes are anything to go by, this film will surely be a huge hit!
    You can’t please all of the people all of the time…

  • Hey Brita, I didn’t see the movie yet, only the trailer for the movie. If the movie winds up being good, I promise to eat my cynical and depressing words. Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure the real person was great and interesting, especially for the time. But you have to admit, there have been countless movies about great and interesting people that turned out to be…not so hot.

    After all, Jane Anderson wrote It Could Happen To You, which was based on a true story. And at least for me, that reeked of over-sentimentality.

    But I certainly don’t want anybody to think I’m dissing on the real Evelyn Ryan. My gripes are simply with the trailer.

  • Hi Drew
    Thanks for replying.
    I can understand that this film isn’t everyone’s ‘cup of tea’ (as we say here in England) and I guess I’m a little biased, as I have communicated with Terry Ryan many times, and know for a fact that she, and her late mother, are both very special and unique women.
    But do I agree with your comment about ‘great people’ – many people are media-lead into what construes ‘greatness’, rather than forming their own opinion.
    But take it from me, Evelyn was a true fighter and had the ability to lift herself above her poverty of circumstance with her richness of soul and zest for life. That’s something I admire, and I feel many others will too..
    The book is charming and fun, and I only hope the film will do it justice.
    I am another contest ‘prize winner’… the hobby is huge in the UK, hence the interest this film is generating over here.
    Many of us ‘compers’ (as contesters are called here) have achieved world travel, won free cars, household appliances etc. etc. simply by picking up a pen and developing an “I WILL win” attitude… (like Evelyn Ryan) so much better than doing nothing and taking whatever life dishes out, without challenging it!
    We could all do with a little of the Evelyn Ryan spirit (I guess you already have it!)

  • PS:
    I have just been watching the trailer for ‘Pride and Prejudice’ (to be released this fall). Now it’s my turn to be a little disappointed. I doubt it will come anywhere close to Colin Firth’s and Jennifer Ehle’s superb portrayal of Mr Darcy and Lizzy Bennet. But I am prejudiced; the previous (BBC) production was filmed at the historical mansion where I work. I would be interested to read other people’s opinions…

  • MAB

    Maybe she and every other 50’s housewife had “no concept” of birth control because the pill wasn’t invented yet. The most common form of birth control was the rhythym method or coitus interruptus, which by far are sure preventions.

  • That would be correct. And as a Catholic, I would I doubt Kelly would have used any form of contraception other than the two mentioned here. So a fertile woman like Evelyn would have accepted whatever nature felt fit to dish out…
    But back in the 1950’s, women were mothers in the truest sense… the kids always came first, come what may. And so it was with Evelyn Ryan!

  • Patrick Ryan

    As one of Evelyn Ryan’s many grandchildren, I am happy that folks in the 50’s had very little concept of birth control. Yes, my grandmother was a very inspiring person. Director Jane Anderson seemed to take extra care in making sure the movie stayed true to the original biograph written by my Aunt Terry. The movie will be devoid of adrenalin infused explosions and high tech special effects, but hopefully will be able to convey at least some of the charm, wit, determination and eccentricities of a truly remarkable woman and her rather large family.

  • Lillian Dunlap


    I’m an African American lesbian who graduated from Defiance College in Defiance Ohio in the late 60’s. I know what it’s like to move from a city of 300,000 to Defiance with about three stop lights. Now, I serve on the DC Board of Trustees. Would you think about a special showing of the film in Defiance? The college enjoys a very good national and international reputation.

    Let me know what you think.


  • Mary

    I loved the movie and book. Just like the book, my Mom raised 10 kids and won many many prizes the same way. I felt as if I was reading about my own life. Even half of the kids have the same name. It was a good exciting life. My Mom was a wonderful Mom & lady.