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Film Review: ‘The Odd Life of Timothy Green’ Misses Emotional Connection

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CHICAGO – Peter Hedges’ “The Odd Life of Timothy Green” has a warm, gooey center that’s admirable in a family movie way but what’s around it can’t hold together as the lack of focus in the narrative and the rather grating performance from the young man playing its title character causes it to annoy more than entertain. I want to like “Timothy Green.” I don’t think there are enough fantasy-driven family films and the cast is filled with actors that I’ve enjoyed before. But the movie simply doesn’t have the energy or creativity it needed to connect.

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 1.5/5.0
Rating: 1.5/5.0

Cindy (Jennifer Garner) and Jim Green (Joel Edgerton) are meeting with a pair of adoption officers (Shohreh Aghdashloo & Michael Arden) and they have a story to tell that won’t fit on the form that asks them why they’d make good parents. It’s the story of Timothy Green (CJ Adams), the child that showed them the art of parenting through a series of miraculous events and kind gestures. Their story is a fable, a fantasy about the power of creativity, the bond between parent & child, and how being different isn’t always a bad thing. It’s a ton of narrative for a relatively short film and the unfocused nature of Hedges’ narrative (from a story by Ahmet Zappa) is the film’s biggest problem. Cindy & Jim Green’s story isn’t ridiculous because it features a magical child but because it feels that it needs to feature so much more.

StarRead Brian Tallerico’s full review of “The Odd Life of Timothy Green” in our reviews section.

After discovering that they’re not going to have a biological child, Cindy & Jim have a wine-soaked evening in which they make notes about what their never-to-be son would have been like. They take their dreams of a son named Timothy and bury them in a box in the backyard. A rainstorm commences and Timothy Green, complete with leaves growing out of his legs, sprouts from the backyard and starts calling the Greens “Mom” & “Dad.”

Of course, Timothy touches the lives of everyone in the small town in which he lives. He makes Uncle Bub (M. Emmet Walsh) laugh one last time before he passes. He teaches Aunt Brenda (Rosemarie DeWitt) not to be so stuck up. He impacts his demanding grandfather (David Morse), his Mom’s boss (Dianne Wiest), his dad’s boss (Ron Livingston), his soccer coach (Common), a girl at school (Odeya Rush), and even saves the town from economic destruction. Timothy Green could easily be seen as a Christ figure – the beautiful child who rises from the ether to teach us all a lesson or two about being good human beings.

StarContinue reading for Brian Tallerico’s full “The Odd Life of Timothy Green” review.

“The Odd Life of Timothy Green” stars Jennifer Garner, Joel Edgerton, CJ Adams, M. Emmet Walsh, Shohreh Aghdashloo, Michael Arden, Rosemarie DeWitt, David Morse, Ron Livingston, Dianne Wiest, Odeya Rush, and Common. It was written and directed by Peter Hedges. It was released on August 15, 2012 and is rated PG.

The Odd Life of Timothy Green
The Odd Life of Timothy Green
Photo credit: Walt Disney Pictures

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