Friday, July 1, 2011

I’m typing this just before midnight. It’s humid as hell. I have the windows open and the front door too. Trying to create a cross-breeze.

It’s not happening yet.

Nothing happened today. I mean that literally: nothing happened. Went to the store, if that’s something. Isn’t this an exciting blog post so far?

Watched a movie: The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio. Read the book a couple of years ago and heard the movie wasn’t as good. But it’s a good flick. It comes very, very close to being a little too stylized (and I’m still not sure if Woody Harrelson gives a good performance or not), but at the same time it’s what makes the flick different and unpredictable and probably unlike anything else that was released in 2005. The production design is great – I’m a sucker for all things 50s and early 60s, the way the supermarkets looked, what was on television, the clothing, the fonts – Julianne Moore is quite good, and the movie eventually hits you right in the heart.

It’s the true story of Evelyn Ryan, who raised her 10 kids in the 50s and 60s by entering sweepstakes and contests. The kind of sweepstakes and contests you really don’t see today, where you had to write an essay or come up with a slogan for a product or finish a jingle. How did she make enough money to support 10 kids by writing? Is her husband going to take his drunken meanness to a more violent level? What happens to the kids?

The movie manages to be both an uplifting story of how to stay positive, even when you can’t afford milk and your husband drinks too much, and maybe even as an inspiration for those who want a writing life. A lot of people might not like the tone of the film – or the fact that Moore spends a lot of the film talking to the audience as another version of herself acts out the scene in the background – but it’s well-worth seeing. One of those movies that will seem better on a second viewing. The decision the director makes at the end could have been a disaster, but it works beautifully, and might even make you weep a little. I really liked it.

Here’s the trailer:

Today I bet she would be blogging. Or at the very least tweeting.

OK, that’s it for this week. Hope you have a Happy Fourth, filled with sun and burgers and the cold drink of your choice! See you Tuesday.

One thought on “Friday, July 1, 2011

  1. I haven’t seen this movie yet, so thanks for posting, Bob. I love all things 50s and 60s, too (will probably watch Mad Men from the beginning before the next season airs). Plus, that looks like a Triumph TR2, which holds a special place in my heart (we owned one back in the last century).

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