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The Prizewinner of Defiance, Ohio

September 6, 2010

The Prizewinner of Defiance, Ohio (2005)
Director: Jane Anderson
Actors: Julianne Moore, Woody Harrelson, Laura Dern

Synopsis: The travails of a mother (Julianne Moore) of ten in Defiance, Ohio.

Review: This is for the most part an uncomplicated and schmaltzy paean to small-town values and the “American Dream”, as symbolised through the ingenuity and thriftiness of mother-of-ten Julianne Moore (playing her third Fifties’ housewife in as many films), and the drama’s ultimate end-design as advocate of the sustenance of the family unit. The two potentially dark and ambiguous subplots – the father’s alcoholism and the implication that the mother may have sold her talents short – are acknowledged but never keenly developed, as the drama moves towards its uplifting, complex-free conclusion as the real-life children converge in later life to pay tribute to their mother and her outstanding parenting. (January 2008)

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