The Odd Life of Timothy Green
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Tearjerking family drama about the magic of raising a kid.
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Standard in every sense of the word, The Odd Life of Timothy Green is simply to content with itself for us to feel anything more about it rather than a passing calmness that the film delivers in spades with its beautiful countryside cinematography. I enjoyed the film well enough and the premise is engaging to the point it deals with a heavy handed subject in a fantastical way that makes it easier to swallow. Writer and director Peter Hedges has crafted tales with themes like this before whether it be his writing in About A Boy or his previous directorial effort Dan In Real Life (which I still adore). He brings that same warm, cozy feeling to this film and makes a movie for families, about family and how we all need to cherish and look out for one another. There are certain characters so typical to these kinds of films its laughable and it is sometimes hard to get past the requirements of the outlandish set up, but nonetheless it is charming and the actors really put forth an effort here. Both Joel Edgerton (Warrior) and Jennifer Garner as the heartbroken parents shine in certain scenes while a parade of strong supporting players are given too little to do to justify their presence. CJ Adams is the title character and is a pleasure as the all knowing child teaching the parents he takes to so easily how they can be the best of parents. It is all very nice, sometimes emotional, sometimes overly sentimental but most of all it is sweet yet forgettable. I liked the film, it didn't feel like a waste of time, but I wouldn't return to it again. Still, a good time for the family and worth a rental this holiday season.
- fb1025970122, Monday, December 10, 2012
Not a film liked by critics, The Odd Life of Timothy Green isn't all that bad. It's a barely passable film, but a number of things made it likable. It centers around an odd kid who shows up, without explanation, from the garden after a couple finds out they can't have kids and spends an evening making up, and writing down, what their kid would have been like for closure on the subject. Without explaining exactly where he came from, the parents raise Timothy and learn how to be parents to the strange kid through trial and error, as he finds a girlfriend and makes numerous other friends. What happens in the end is easy to see coming, and somewhat given away about half way through, but they manage to keep the story interesting. Timothy Green is a pretty well written story carried heavily by superb acting. Joel Edgerton is really a diverse actor and has great chemistry with Jennifer Garner. CJ Adams fits right in, and although the story is a little too smoothly put together, the actors are magnificent and make it work. They create very likable characters that I want to watch. It's topped off with a bit of a bland ending, but helps finish the film instead of just getting lost. Again: it's formulaic for it's oddness, but ends up working. I'd say wait until it's on a movie channel, but if you rent it wanting to see a feel good movie, you won't be too disappointed.
- cenzano38, Friday, August 24, 2012
Going in to The Odd Life of Timothy Green, I wasn(TM)t really sure what to expect. Family dramedies, especially from Disney, have a tendency to be oftentimes unbearably corny and derived from a cookie-cutter formula. That(TM)s why it comes as a minor shock to me to report that Timothy Green is absolutely worth your time and money. It(TM)s packed with ingenuity, strong performances, laughs and genuine emotion, and it(TM)s a better film than many of 2012(TM)s tentpole blockbusters. Centering on small-town couple Cindy (Jennifer Garner) and Jim Green (Joel Edgerton), the film tells a modern fairytale of sorts. I(TM)ll shy away from specifics as to avoid spoilers, so I(TM)ll just say that the couple happens upon a mysterious boy named Timothy (CJ Adams) -- or rather he happens upon them. They lovingly take him in as the child they(TM)ve always wanted but could never have. Cindy and Jim now find themselves required to juggle their newfound parenting with the impending closure of their town(TM)s pencil manufacturing plant, on which the existence of Jim(TM)s, as well as much of the populaces(TM) jobs hinge. Jennifer Garner and Joel Edgerton demonstrate an impeccable chemistry; Garner embodies the overprotective/loving mother persona while Edgerton imbues Jim with a strong likability coupled with a simple desire to be the father that he never had. Despite their child(TM)s titular namesake, the film is truly centered on Cindy and Jim, and the lessons they learn as result of Timothy(TM)s presence. CJ Adams plays his role well, ensuring that Timothy is a wide-eyed, adventurous but genuine boy. He gets himself into many-a-shenanigan, oftentimes thanks to the incessant need of his parents to help him fit in, and though the situations he(TM)s placed in make for some great comedy, their real importance lies in what they teach Jim and Cindy. And that(TM)s part of Timothy Green(TM)s magic; it caters brilliantly to all ages. Younger viewers will be thoroughly entertained by the film(TM)s more simple, on-the-surface entertainment factor, but the more adult audience will recognize the film as an emotionally resonant dramedy that truly manages to leave an impression. The film(TM)s age appeal doesn(TM)t end there -- it(TM)s also riotously funny for extended periods of time for all ages. Though some films manage this feat by including plenty of slapstick humor for the kiddies whilst throwing in more mature humor for adults that flies above younger viewers(TM) heads, Timothy Green(TM)s route is much more difficult to pull off. It(TM)s genuinely funny. There are no guy-falls-down-the-stairs moments or snicker-inducing sexual undertones -- when something funny happens in Timothy Green, everyone laughs. Instead of catering to a specific age group for a few minutes and then another next, the film appeals to everyone all the time. That is no easy feat. But Timothy Green isn(TM)t all laughs. The film is achingly poignant at certain points and taps in to a few inherent human fears with astounding effectiveness -- losing someone you love, being unable to have a family, having no control over an unstoppable, woeful outcome -- all of these considerably dark themes are represented herein, and it(TM)s impossible not to get just a little choked up on multiple occasions throughout the film(TM)s duration. Timothy Green never resorts to cheap tearjerking, but it(TM)s bound to gain a well-earned emotional response from its audience. Of course, the film doesn(TM)t come without its flaws. A few moments throughout the film come across as just a tad cheesy, though this issue doesn(TM)t pop us as frequently as in similar films. Its derivative, predicable soccer sequences and Timothy(TM)s underdeveloped love interest are annoyances but don(TM)t threaten to derail the experience. The overarching thread of factory closure isn(TM)t fleshed out enough and doesn(TM)t come to any satisfying conclusion; we(TM)re given no reason as to why it(TM)s going under, we(TM)re just told that it is, and the town(TM)s situation doesn(TM)t feel as desperate as it had the potential to because of this misstep. Also -- and this is more of a nitpick than a genuine criticism -- many of the townspeople just come across as real jerks. Why do Jim and Cindy live here when everyone seems to treat them and Timothy like garbage? By the time Cindy(TM)s uppity sister had bragged about her children's(TM) successes for the umpteenth time, I began to wonder why Cindy didn(TM)t just up and strangle her. The Odd Life of Timothy Green deserves more attention than it(TM)s bound to get, releasing in the busy August month. It(TM)d be all to easy to dismiss the film as yet another cheese-filled family melodrama. That would be a big mistake. Stuffed to the brim with genuine, heartfelt emotion and bolstered by a pair of strong leads (the highlight being Joel Edgerton), Timothy Green makes not only a compelling case to take one last family trip to the cinema this summer, but has the potential to make the moviegoing public stop and ask why they paid to see another Ice Age when this wonderful little surprise was waiting just around the corner. Now it(TM)s here, so don(TM)t pass it up.
- aaiverson, Sunday, August 19, 2012