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|Index||107 reviews in total|
When I first saw the previews for this film, I was on the fence about
seeing it. To me, it looked like it could be a pretty good movie, or an
absolute train wreck. Then I read the reviews, which weren't very good,
and I was less sure about seeing it. A few days ago, I saw it out of
boredom at a cheap movie theater. As I began to watch the film, I
realized that the movie was very uplifting and emotional, with lots of
other feelings. I can admit, I cried during the film and I think
everyone else in the theater did too. This movie wasn't all perfect
though. It was very predictable, and when something happened in the
middle of the film, I could basically tell how it would end. All in
all, I walked out of the theater feeling good, and I hope to see it
A word of advice, DO NOT LISTEN TO THE REVIEWS OF THIS MOVIE. The Odd Life of Timothy Green is a great family movie to see, and it really gives you that warm feeling when you leave the theater.
What a wonderful movie! Because you can read the summary, I will just
tell you our reaction to it. We were lucky enough to receive tickets to
a pre-release screening of this moving. We took the whole family, 5
boys ages 5-16, and my husband and myself. Everyone loved it. Even the
5 year old, and that is no small thing. This movie will make you laugh
and cry and then laugh again. And the laughing moments range from
chuckles to totally surprise you as they burst out of your chest howls
Though we have our boys, we are waiting to adopt a girl, so the theme of parents who want a child that they can't seem to have, and the theme of taking in a child that you didn't give birth to and/or adoption really hit home for us. I sat at the end of the movie and cried, and they were tears of laughter and sadness and hope all mixed up together. Even if you're not interested in adoption, this is really a touching show.
I wish Disney made more movies like this. Totally clean, nothing even remotely possibly offensive, and yet it wasn't just a kid show. It was interesting, engaging, witty. As noted above - good for everyone from ages 5 to 40!
I like Peter Hedges' other films. I wish I could have liked this more.
Its' heart and message are so in the right place, but it plays like a
schmaltzy movie of the week. Jennifer Garner, whom I have really
enjoyed in other roles, overplays this one and is very disappointing.
The kid who plays Timothy is good enough. His young female friend Odeya
Rush is the best in the cast. Joel Edgerton is perfect for Lifetime
movie of the week. They are all really likable. So I just wished I
liked the film more. And the message is terrific. I cry in schmaltzy
films but I think it says much about this film in that the only time it
brought any tears was in the final scene which was grounded in reality.
When the fantasy was going I just wasn't sucked in.
7 may be a generous rating, but this is a solid family film with a strong positive message. There is a big audience out there for this film. I don't really want to discourage them from seeing it.
Something is missing from this movie. By all means, this should had
been a great, entertaining and heartfelt, modern fairy tale, for the
whole family to enjoy but the movie handles certain themes poorly and
make some odd choices with its story at times.
And honestly, I still foremost really liked the movie. It's harmless and cute enough still and the movie has its moments. But that doesn't take away anything from the fact that this movie still is being a bit of a missed opportunity.
All of the right intentions were there, it just didn't always worked out successfully. The approach they were going for was a heartfelt family movie, in which a mysterious young boy brings people together and changes their lives for the positive. It just happen to do it all in a wrong way, for most of the time. First of all; it does far too little with its mystery/fantasy aspects. They accept the boy for who he is and where he came from pretty early on- and easily. Besides, it all seems like the boy is doing very little special actually, as if the movie was afraid it would loose some of its viewers if it was going to be more heavy on its fantasy aspects.
That perhaps was the movie its biggest problem; it wasn't heavy on its fantasy. The movie rather picks some uninteresting plot developments instead. It prefers to be about pencils, as opposed to something more heartfelt or bigger than life. It seems like the movie still wanted to be about morals and wanted to teach you about life but it mostly does so by inserting stereotypical characters and some forced or formulaic dramatic moments. It's not as warm and emotional involving as this movie required to be, in order for it to let it all work out.
I am also still a bit confused about it who this movie was aimed for. It seems to be a bit too slow and uninteresting for young children and not convincing enough for adults. It's a bit in between of being an entertaining children's movie and a modern fairy tale for adults. I did wished they had balanced certain things out a bit better, so the movie would had been better and more fun to watch for both adults and youngsters.
The movie is still being fine as it is. I mean, all the things I had problems with didn't ruined the movie for me in any way and I could certainly still enjoy and appreciate it for what it was. It's cuteness factor and innocence still make this a recommendable film. Just don't expect to be very taken- or blown away by any of it.
Although this movie is not much of a box office success, due to the
heavy load of drama, sensitivity and all the mushy-mushy stuff, I still
say it is nice to see things go well sometimes, makes you feel that the
world is not that bad.
Walt Disney still brings a little magic into our lives trying to make you feel the world is not that much of a sad place. Peter Hedges the director and co-writer of the film did a nice job with this movie, which doesn't have lots of special effects but delivers the hallmark family fun that Disney is known for, Peter finds a way to draw your sensitivity out and make you develop an emotional attachment to the characters from the movies first scene of parents struggling to have a child to when a naked kid shows up and then all the way till the end.
The odd life of Timothy green is about a couple Cindy and Jim Green (Jennifer Garner and Joel Edgerton), who couldn't have children. The couple has done all they can to get pregnant but all to no avail, so they began to dream about what their child would be like, they wrote down all they wished he would be, achieve and become, placed it in a box and buried it in the backyard.
One stormy night young Timothy (CJ Adams) shows up on their doorstep and calls them mum and dad.
CJ Adams was exceptional in his task as Timothy Green, child actors seem to have a difficult role sometimes when they have to convince you, but CJ did a good job and I was impressed by his acting.
As Adams plays young Timothy who sees life differently; hey! He has leaves growing on his ankles, he likes to spread his hands in the sunlight, he is naïve and truthful to a fault.
The movie's story had some loops here and there, but it was fun to see how things planned to turn out, although some can boast that the movie was a little predictable but it was also lovable. I won't burst the kids from school to go see this movie, but if you do catch it on TV gather the family around for a fun time.
I was lucky to get to go to an advance showing of this movie tonight.
Boy, was I surprised in what I got to see! Odd Life of Timothy Green is
a rare gem out there for a clever storyline that can be funny, sad, and
uplifting at the same time.
Without giving too much away, Jennifer Garner and Joel Edgerton play a couple who have tried to have a child unsucessfully until one night, a son appears....from the garden?!? The storyline is both magical and grounded in reality where we follow Timothy Green learn about others and life. This includes bullying, love, competition, and yes, even death. I found it to be a bit of a mix between two other old live action Disney movies: Polyanna and Mary Poppins.
The acting in this movie is superb, especially CJ Adams as the main character and Dianne Weist as the grumpy old lady everybody knows. Both of these actors were able to play their characters multi dimensional and I really got a laugh out of Weist's dour expression for most of the movie. The movie rounds out nicely with M. Emmet Walsh, David Morse, and (what?) Common.
The only gripe I had with the movie was I felt that it was a bit slow moving and could have been about a 30 minutes shorter, but it still was one of Disney's bests and one of the best movies I have seen this year.
When it comes out next week, I highly recommend seeing it. A unique family story about adoption with a sprinkle of that Disney magic!
If you remember the good old days when the story was in the forefront and people dedicated months and years into character development then yes this film is for you. With the way Hollywood has become a sci-fi shoot em slash em industry films with heart and simplistic storytelling get lost in the fray but are very necessary. It starts out slow and on the nose but once timothy shows up the film shines. You find yourself engulfed into the couples life and not wanting the show to end. When you feel like you know the story and the characters then that means you watched a great film. As film makers and critics and people with the option to voice that instantly its very easy to forget that hey the reason you arnt rushing to see the film or tell people about it is because they did their job so well you felt like you knew them. It is easy to see a film and break down cuts, and fades and length of scenes but this film was one of those ones where you didn't care if it was formulaic at parts or if it was too heartfelt and sappy in others. It was such a joy that simple and deep character development still happens and its an artform I hope we never lose.
¨Please don't ask about my leaves.¨ I'm generally a fan of Disney
family movies and don't mind when they get overly sentimental or
extremely sweet as long as the characters have depth and the story
rings authentic. The problem I had with The Odd Life of Timothy Green
wasn't that it was too emotional or sweet, but rather that the story
never felt authentic. I know the story is fictional, but even so I
never believed the father and son relationship, and the movie really
never connected with me. Like the title suggests it felt too odd and
weird. I enjoyed Peter Hedges previous movie (Dan in Real Life). He is
mostly known of course for writing the screenplay for What's Eating
Gilbert Grape. Hedges definitely has a lot of talent, but this film
just failed to connect with me. In my opinion it is one of his weakest
efforts. He adapted the screenplay from Ahmet Zappa's story. I really
wouldn't watch this film again even though I liked the actors. I loved
Joel Edgerton in Warrior and Jennifer Garner is a well liked actress.
CJ Adams did a very good job in the title role as Timothy, but as much
as I liked these actors I never enjoyed the story. Everything seemed so
disconnected from reality and I couldn't find any character with depth.
It was like if they were in a rush to tell the story and they never
stopped to focus on the relationships that were being built.
The film begins by introducing us to a young couple from Stanleyville (the pencil capital of the world) who is trying to adopt a kid. Cindy (Jennifer Garner) and Jim Green (Joel Edgerton) are being interviewed in order to see if they are qualified and thus they begin to narrate the story about the boy who changed their lives: Timothy. The entire film is told in flashback style while the couple is in the interview. They story begins with them in the doctor's office where they are given the bad news that they will never be able to have children. That night they arrive home devastated by the news, but Jim decides to dream for one last night about their child. They begin to name several qualities that child would have and they write them down. After coming up with several qualities they put them inside a box and bury it in their backyard garden. That night a strong storm hits their home and they wake up to a strange sound in the house. They discover a young boy named Timothy (CJ Adams) who has leaves growing out of his ankles. Timothy calls them mom and dad, and that is when Jim and Cindy discover that their dream child has grown out of their garden. Timothy teaches them several lessons about life and parenting. He also falls in love with a young girl named Joni (Odeya Rush) who helps him to adopt to the new life. A few surprises happen along the way as Timothy meets the rest of the family and town members. He inspires and changes the lives of Jim and Cindy forever.
As much as I wanted to like this family friendly movie I couldn't. The film lacked authenticity or at least a sense of minimal believability in a fairytale. I liked CJ Adams performance, but his character wasn't really well developed either. He was a little too odd and I never felt the connection between him and his parents. This is yet another movie that seems to tell us that children are wiser than their parents, but I will make an exception here because we were dealing with a miraculous kid. There is not much more I can say about this film, you either love it or hate it. With me it failed to make any connection whatsoever, but it is a sweet family friendly film. I didn't find it to be very emotional although it does try to be a tearjerker. It never reached that emotional level or touching moment that I was hoping for.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
First of all, let me give this disclaimer. I am one of the background
actors in the movie (African-American male at the picnic, soccer games,
factory and town hall), so there might be a little bias.
The movie is actually very good, but, alas, is a Disney film and Disney tends to keep their movies under two hours to match the attention span of the intended audiences.
That said, this movie could have used another 15-20 minutes to help flesh out the main and supporting characters. Having spent almost 20 days on the set, I can say director Peter Hedges (About A Boy, What's Eating Gilbert Grape) probably did have such a film only to have to cut another chunk or two.
Sadly, those chunks would have helped.
The story begins with Jim Green (Joel Edgerton) and his wife Cindy (Jennifer Garner) talking to an adoption agency administrator (Shohreh Aghdashloo). The Greens have left key portions of their paperwork empty -- the parts concerning prior experience and why they would make good parents. For that, Jim and Cindy decide to recount the odd life of Timothy Green.
From there, we see, in flashback, Jim and Cindy being told by a doctor that Cindy cannot get pregnant. The couple go home to cry about it, but Jim doesn't want to give up. So, he puts all the wishes he's had for a children on paper and encourages Cindy to do the same. They bury the wishes in a box in a hole in the garden.
A strange rain storm hits. When Jim and Cindy investigate, they find a mysterious boy covered in mud in the room they'd set aside for the kid that would never be born. His name is Timothy and he's soon calling Jim and Cindy Dad and Mom. And he has a big secret -- he's got leaves growing out of his ankles, leaves so strong and natural that local florist Reggie (Lin-Manuel Sanders) breaks his shears trying to snip them.
Afterward, the story goes in a whirlwind. Timothy is introduced to the rest of the family -- Cindy's sister Brenda (Rosemarie DeWitt), Uncle Bub (M. Emmet Walsh), Uncle Mel (Lois Smith) and Jim's dad, Big Jim (David Morse)-- as well as friends (Gregory Marshall Smith, Paul Kakos, Sonia Guzman, Chance Bartels, Paul Barlow Jr., among others. It's here we see the effects of the editing as the introductions of these characters is missing, leaving us a bit confused. We know Jim and Big Jim don't see eye to eye but we get no real sense of the tension. We learn Brenda is more successful than Cindy and has three kids but we can't get a feel for the sibling rivalry. Uncle Bub and Aunt Mel look like they were thrown in.
And this is how much of the film plays out. When we meet Bernice Crudstaff (Oscar winner Dianne Wiest), whose father started the town's pencil factory, we only catch glimpses and only learn her name later. Her husband, Joseph (James Rebhorn), is virtually a ghost, getting perhaps two scenes. Their son Franklin (Ron Livingston) runs the pencil factory and is supposed to be a hard case but we only see a few wisps of his snobbery, including at the crucial town meeting where he gets called on the carpet.
About the most interesting parts of the movie are Joni Jerome (Odeya Rush), a local girl with her own little secret, and Coach Cal (rapper Common), who treats Timothy as a mere water boy for the factory's soccer team. Joni gets a chance to reveal her secret and find a friend (and vice versa for Timothy), while Coach learns it's more about gamesmanship than winning.
Joel Edgerton and Jennifer Garner make a charming and believable couple, but C.J. Adams, who plays Timothy, steals the show. He ably and superbly plays all of the emotional weight put upon his shoulders as he has to emulate all of the wishes of his movie parents.
Knowing what I know of the production, I honestly believe another 15-20 minutes of footage from the Scott Sanders/Ahmet Zappa production could have done wonders for plot and character development.
Overall, though, it was a very good film that could have been better. For now, just revel in Timothy's wonder, Jim and Cindy's growth as parents and the fun of the soccer games. Yes, it's odd but so is the life of Timothy Green.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This movie opens with Jennifer Garner and Joel Edgerton as prospective
adoptive parents trying to make their case for application. The three
agency characters shown are bureaucratic caricatures except for
occasional interjections of nasty and misanthropic attempts at humor
that no bureaucrat would risk losing her (or his) job to make. It is
during this time that to explain "what experiences have prepared them
for parenthood" that they tell their tales of "The Odd Life of Timothy
Green" in flashback.
Having been told finally that natural parenthood is impossible for them, the Greens perform one final exercise of writing down what their perfect child would be like, then putting them in a box and burning it. Lo and behold, Timothy (the only boy name selected) comes out of the garden and behaves with all the characteristics they imagined as time unfolds, one pronounced trait at a time.
I love good fantasies but they should be internally consistent within the rules of the fantasy world they create. This one isn't close. I also enjoy feel-good movies - one description many reviewers use for this. This movie has an awful lot of misanthropic characters and humor for a feel-good movie. It plays to me more like an ironic fantasy of Raold Dahl (Matilda, Charlie & the Chocolate Factory, etc.) without the sharp wit or the internal consistency.
You know you are in trouble when the kindest and sweetest of the supporting characters is played by M. Emmett Walsh. David Morse, normally a personal favorite, plays Edgerton's father so devoid of humanity that we never get a clear view of his face. Rosemarie DeWitt (Tara's sister in the US of Tara) plays a stereotyped condescending, judgmental, and catty sister. Michael Arden is still another sarcastic "friend" and co-worker with his own agenda. Diane Wiest, another favorite and generally wonderful in fantasy (Edward Scisssorhands), is so nasty and unlikable that her transformation seems ridiculous. The untalented Ron Livingston is even nastier and less convincing than usual as Edgerton's slimy boss. Edgerton is no better than adequate as the husband. CJ Adams is marvelous and thoroughly credible as the Timothy Green he creates and Jennifer Garner does manage to move my heart as contrived and nasty as the script is. These are two standout performances far better than this movie deserves.
One real problem is that even though Timothy's appearance, transformation, deeds, and exit actions are magical, that magic is nowhere to be seen or appreciated on-screen. This makes the movie a pointless and dense 105-minute talk-fest for kids and pointless and unlikable for most adults looking for entertainment. Another major problem, given how contentious and nasty the Green's friends and relatives are and given the mysterious appearance of this boy and the movie's small-company-town atmosphere, how is it that nobody has asked questions to the local adoption agency about this boy or seriously investigates where he came from. Finally, the people and town also seem too affluent and dress too well for a company town whose main business is failing. Also, how is it that Dianne Wiest who runs the company where Garner works is suddenly on-stage for the climactic scene in the pencil company where Ron Livingston takes credit for Green's invention? What is the soccer coach doing there? Has the movie suddenly morphed into Gung Ho?
I could continue to go into the inconsistency of Timothy's homilies about his gifts and the couple actually getting a kid form the bureaucrats, but that too would be pointless.
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