Evelyn Ryan (Julianne Moore) was a woman of intelligence, talent, and pluck living in the small town of Defiance, OH, in the 1950s. Evelyn was married to Kelly Ryan (Woody Harrelson), a man who gave her ten children but not much else; Kelly had a severe drinking problem, struggled to hold on to a job, and tended to spend his money as soon as he earned it. It was seemingly up to Evelyn to support the family, but with ten kids to look after, taking a job outside the home hardly seemed practical. But the resourceful Evelyn discovered a way to bring some extra money into the household - at a time when a number of companies held contests to find new advertising jingles for their products, Evelyn had a genius for coming up with slogans and winning contests, and for the better part of a decade Evelyn kept food on the table and a roof over her head by dreaming up jingles, tag lines, and ad headlines and winning contests with her handiwork, often selling the merchandise she won to pay the bills.
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Ratings and Reviews
Critics Consensus: Noteworthy for Julianne Moore's performance, Prize Winner is nonetheless a largely indistinct and tentative film that fails to convey the true power of its bittersweet tale.
Charming but a bit disturbing; ok for teens.