Parents' Guide to

The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio

By Cynthia Fuchs, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Charming but a bit disturbing; ok for teens.

Movie PG-13 2005 99 minutes
The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 13+

Based on 1 parent review

age 13+

Intense Story

This movie deserves more credit than Common Sense Media's review gave it. The mother in the story is living in a very difficult situation, yet never lets her husband's behavior change her to be angry or hateful. She continues to be steadfastly happy and fights to keep her family doing the same. She even tells her daughter that being angry at the father doesn't help anything, only takes away her own joy. The mother narrates the story, helping the viewer to see that she doesn't hate her husband but pities him. The mother is always trying to overlook her husband's temper and draw him back into being part of the family instead of allowing him to distance himself out of his envy and guilt that she is a better provider than he is through her amazing gift of words. This movie had a good message about forgiveness, even in seemingly impossible situations. Since this movie is about an alcoholic, the father is show drinking all the time. There were several incidents were the father is intoxicated and behaves violently, screaming and cursing, once causing the mother to fall and get badly cut on broken milk bottles, which included a lot of blood. I don't recommend this for sensitive viewers, but it was a good movie about a strong mom living through hard times and loving her family no matter what.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (1):
Kids say (1):

Jane Anderson's film is a doting, adorable, and sometimes disturbing portrait of Evelyn. As Evelyn both supports and exploits an expanding commercial culture through her "contesting," the film doesn't quite challenge the surface she's perpetuating. But it does illustrate it in some detail, including an animated montage that accompanies her listing of prizes (a palm tree, a lifetime supply of birdseed, clothing, and a pony), and the Affadaisies, a coterie of other contesters organized by Dortha (Laura Dern). One member is an always beaming lady in an iron lung that's painted happy-yellow (such irony, while perverse, gives the movie a brief, welcome edge).

Movie Details

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