Housewife Evelyn Ryan (Julianne Moore) has 10 kids, an empty purse and a temperamental husband (Woody Harrelson) who blows most of his paycheck on booze. Fortunately, she has a ridiculous gift for winning enough limerick contests courtesy of everyone from Beechnut Gum to Dial Soap to a local grocery to keep her family's collective head just above water.



How ludicrous is that? Amazingly, not at all: It‚s a true story. The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio got the sandbag treatment from Dreamworks, which was too busy promoting its lousy War of the Worlds cash-in to care. Too bad.

Ohio is based on a book of the same name written by one of the Ryan kids, and the choppy script regularly suffers from its need to cram in parts of the book it later has no time to revisit or resolve. But Moore is great as Ryan, and Harrelson even better as an outsider in his own family. And there‚s plenty of style and sweetness and just enough brutal honesty to make Ohio‚s flaws forgivable.



Extras: Moore commentary, director commentary, photo gallery.

Grade: B+