The Odd Life of Timothy Green offers a family friendly story, best enjoyed by those that don’t mind some improbability mixed with their entertainment. After years of trying, Jim and Cindy Green (Joel Edgerton and Jennifer Garner) have had to accept they can’t have a child. Despite their best efforts, adopting a child doesn’t seem to be in the cards. Crushed, they go home to their quaint small town of Stanleyville and cry their eyes out. Shortly thereafter, they rally themselves by writing notes listing the wonderful qualities their child would have. Then they put the notes in a wooden box and bury it deep in the ground during the night.
When a freak thunderstorm hits just their house, something magical occurs on the spot where the box is buried. Jim and Cindy awake to find a mud-covered boy sitting in their kitchen. He refers to Jim and Cindy as “Mom and Dad.” After giving him a bath, Cindy learns that his name is Timothy (CJ Adams), the name they had planned to give to a son of their own. While trying to figure out where he came from, they discover Timothy has green leaves attached to his legs, just above the ankles.
Desperate to be parents, Jim and Cindy ask few questions and introduce Timothy as their adopted son to family and friends. Timothy’s the most agreeable kid ever, doing whatever Jim and Cindy ask and trying to integrate himself with the kids at school. Not everyone accepts Timothy with open arms. Jim’s father (David Morse) see’s his grandson as little more than a loser on the soccer team—just like Jim was. Cindy’s affluent sister (Rosemarie DeWitt) treats Timothy as if he’s an idiot. Her boys are geniuses at everything.
Meanwhile, things in Stanleyville are unsettled when the town’s biggest employer—a pencil factory—is on the edge of closure. While none of the adults has a clue how to keep the factory open, Timothy comes up with the perfect solution. Yes, Timothy’s idea is perfectly ridiculous, but this movie is so fantastical having Timothy’s idea keep the factory open just fits in with the rest of the story.
Written and directed by Peter Hedges, The Odd Life of Timothy Green is a departure from his more down-to-earth fare Pieces of April and Dan in Real Life. Some of this film is a bit sloppy. For instance, the scenes set at the adoption agency have a time limit applied to them, for no reason other than to create false suspense over whether Jim and Cindy can successfully plead their case before the clock runs out. The nasty boss at the pencil factory? His name is Crudstaff (ha, ha). Despite the obvious contrivances, the charm of Jennifer Garner, Joel Edgerton, and young CJ Adams’ performances will make The Odd Life of Timothy Green a winner for many families.
Presented in the 1.85:1 aspect ratio, this is a fine transfer. The colors are warm and bright throughout. Detail is exceptional and fleshtones look completely natural. Black levels and contrast are nicely balanced, making this a truly striking visual experience.
The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 sound mix uses the entire soundfield very well. Whether it be the thunderstorm that results in Timothy, or Geoff Zanelli’s score, the fronts and rears come into play at the most opportune times. Dialogue is recorded well and placed in the center channel.
French and Spanish subtitles are available.
The following special features are included:
- An Audio Commentary with Director Peter Hedges: Hedges discusses his deep love for the story and comments on the cast and crew as he makes his way through the film. Hedges has a rather dry delivery and doesn’t say anything revelatory. Only for those who can’t get enough of audio commentaries.
- This Is Family (10:12, HD) A brief behind-the-scenes look with Peter Hedges, and stars Jennifer Garner, Joel Edgerton and CJ Adams, among others.
- The Gift of Music (9:20, HD) This featurette covers the process of writing and recording Geoff Zanelli’s score. Also included is Oscar winner Glen Hansard (Once), who performed “This Gift”, which plays over the end credits.
- Glen Hansard “This Gift” Music Video: (4:41, HD) Featuring the Brooklyn Youth Chorus, as well as fellow Once Oscar winner and musical collaborator Marketa Irglova.
- Deleted Scenes: (5:46, HD) This collection of five scenes reveals a significant change in the plot. Features optional commentary from Hedges and a Play All option.
- DVD Copy of the film.
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