Verdict: 3.5 / 5
The Odd Life of Timothy Green is an oddly enchanting, magical tale about the happily married Green couple, and their son, Timothy. It drips with syrupy Disney goodness and enough sentimentality to ensure you grab your Twinsavers before the end of the film.
Cindy and Jim Green (Joel Edgarton and Jennifer Garner) find out that they are unable to have children. It’s deeply saddening. One evening, with the help of some red wine, they decide to list all the qualities they would want their child to have. After writing their thoughts on small notes stored in a small wooden box, they decide to bury the box in their garden. Later that night we see a rain storm and from the rain Timothy is born. Timothy is a bit of an oddity. He is the weird, quirky kid that usually gets bullied. But in this tale he is such an endearing and lovable character, that he is quickly taken into the fold by the whole community. The Greens love him and take him in as their own, the rest of the town follows suite. Things in town aren’t exactly going well though. The pencil factory that Jim works in has started retrenchments and Cindy gets fired from the pencil museum she works in. But with a child of their own, they have something to fight for.
We follow the life of Timothy as he falls in love with a hippy girl named Joni and goes through all of the rights of passage a kid goes through. But, as I mentioned before, Timothy isn’t your average kid. He was “born” with leaves on his legs (yes, actual leaves) and as the story progresses we find Timothy touching people’s lives in wonderful and extraordinary ways. The only draw back is that every time he touches someone’s life one of the leaves fall off. We eventually learn that when the final leave falls off, Timothy has to “go home”. Although, before Timothy “goes home”, he manages to touch the whole town in unexpected and magical ways, leaving a wonderful legacy.
The Odd Life of Timothy Green is a magical yarn filled with some truly spectacular scenery in an absolutely picture-perfect little town of Stanleyville. It is the sort of pure and good-hearted story that makes you think that the world can be a better place and that there truly still is good in it. It also deals with loss and director Hedges caringly tells the story and unfolds the loss into hope. Edgarton and Garner are both very sincere in their acting and work together surprisingly well. Edgarton has proved to be a fantastic actor, choosing greatly diverse roles. Same can be said about Garner, who has shown that she still has a lot to give. They easily carry the film as the loving, over-protective and clueless parents.
There’s a lot of details that we never learn, for example why and how Timothy was born. Thankfully Hedges doesn’t try to answer that question, or any of the other non-critical questions, but rather focuses on the important aspects of the story he wants to tell. The rest is left up to the audience’s imagination.
It’s a magical tale that will not appeal to all, yet is wonderfully crafted and is just the right sort of film for the festive season.