Entries Tagged 'Biography' ↓

the prize winner of defiance, idaho

This is a clever film about a clever woman who supported her family by “contesting”—writing jingles to win appliances, toys, and even cash. Julianne Moore stars as Evelyn Ryan the always optimistic mother of 11 children, and wife of a boozing husband, who supports her children with an incredible knack for advertising. This true story is based on the memoir by one of her children, and features amusing exposition by Evelyn herself as she explains how she came to support her family on prizes. While it’s apparent how much love and respect the children have for her, the story has a melancholic undertone as we wonder why she puts up with her husband drinking away what little money they have. [us, 2005]


Although at surface this is the tragic story of a stunning mind lost to the debilitation of Alzheimer’s disease, it is truly a meditation on love, commitment, and the inevitable truth that we all will grow old, ugly, and dependent. Three Oscar-nominated performances are turned in by Dame Judi Dench, Kate Winslet, and Jim Broadbent, in this love-letter to great British writer Iris Murdoch. The interplay between the fire of the young Iris, played by Winslet, and the wisdom but then incoherence of the aging Iris, played by Dench, is especially well conceived. [uk, 2001]