Timothy Green is an interesting boy. He doesn’t come from a mama’s belly, but from the earth and a good dose of wishes and dreams. The result is a charming, magical film that grows on you.
Cindy (Jennifer Garner) and Jim Green (Joel Edgerton) cannot have kids and are in a meeting with an adoption agency telling the odd story of how their son Timothy (CJ Adams) magically appeared. When the couple got the news about their not being able to have children, Jim decided that they should put all of the characteristics of their perfect child on note paper, put them in a box, then bury them in their garden.
That night after a strange thunderstorm they find the muddy Timothy in their spare bedroom. He appears to be all that they wanted in a child but also has leaves growing out of his legs. The Greens take Timothy to their friend and botanist Reggie (Lin-Manuel Miranda) and quickly discover that the leaves can’t be removed.
Timothy starts school, befriends a girl named Joni (Odeya Rush), and when he starts behaving like the child that Greens wished for but when those wishes begin being fulfilled what happens?
The Odd Life of Timothy Green takes a fantasy element, puts it into some heartwarming soil, and the resulting flower shines brightly in the light. Garner and Edgerton are delightful as the once depressed parents who wish for a child (it is a Disney movie so the blue fairy must’ve been nearby) put the characteristics of the perfect one down on paper and when he just grows in their garden, complete with leaves on his legs.
Maybe this is a green Green fable?? Adams is also a charmer who embraces the odd character and takes pride in the childlike helpfulness of the character. There’s also a cadre of supporting actors and Timothy will help them all learn life lessons as the story progresses as well as our desperate parents. What might be a bit much for some, well this is a fantasy mind you, is that the connecting story is Cindy and Jim telling their story to a pair at an adoption agency.
In real life, this sort of storytelling would get security called on you. That narrative also butts back into the happy storyline and interrupts some of the feel good Timothy angle, but you still get a warm heart by the end. Another plus is the grand music by composer Geoff Zanelli and Glen Hansard that drives the story. Hansard was a wonder in Once and this proves that he is still capable of dazzling.
The Odd Life of Timothy Green is presented in a 1080p transfer (1.85:1). Special features include a commentary with writer/director Peter Hedges, the 10 minute “This is Family” with cast and crew discussing the film, 6 minutes of deleted scenes with optional commentary by Hedges, the 9 minute “Gift of Music” about the score, the 5 minute “This Gift” by Glen Hansard (from the great Once) music video, and you get a DVD copy.
It’s only a movie, but the Odd Life of Timothy Green is a heartwarming and inspiring one. The performances don’t wither on the vine and it overcomes some narrative missteps. There’s a wholesomely refreshing stem on which this beautiful flower blooms. Check it out with the family.
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