The Odd Life of Timothy Green (2012) Poster

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Very, very underrated.
jabaligian20 August 2012
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 again soon.

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.
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Great, great movie!
keilanil23 July 2012
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 out loud.

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!
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So Sugary Sweet I Got a Cavity Watching It
Larry Silverstein18 December 2012
This Disney fantasy is way too sugary sweet and predictable for my tastes. It stars Jennifer Garner, Joel Edgerton, and C J Adams, as Timothy.

Garner and Edgerton are a married couple living in the small town of Stanleyville. The town is idyllically beautiful and it has as its' main enterprise a local pencil factory. The factory has been owned for generations by the Crudstaff family.However, due to the economic times the factory is in danger of closing.

Edgerton works at the factory while Garner is employed at the Crudstaff House and Pencil Museum as a guide.

The film is told in flashbacks as the couple are being interviewed to be adoptive parents. They are relating their magical experiences with Timothy Green to the counselors.

Having been told by their fertility doctor that they cannot have children, they decide that night to write down all the wonderful qualities they would have liked their child to have. They put the papers in a metal box and bury it in the backyard. During the night, a huge rainstorm hits and suddenly a young boy--Timothy--magically appears in their home.

Guess what? He possesses all the characteristics that they had written down and will follow the path that they had envisioned for him. However, there's one big caveat. He has leaves attached to his legs and in time as the leaves are shed one by one you can guess what will be the end result.

I'm puzzled why the makers of the film decided to make many of the supporting cast such unlikeable characters. Garner's sister, portrayed by Rosemarie DeWitt is self-centered and fairly obnoxious while Edgerton's father, played by the wonderful actor Robert Morse, is basically a macho bully. Also, pretty much the entire Crudstaff family (Dianne Wiest and Ron Livingston in particular) are quite mean-spirited.

Not all the supporting characters are unlikeable. Odeya Rush plays a young girl who befriends Timothy when no one else will. She shows him what is apparently a large red birthmark on her shoulder, which has caused her to be kind of an outcast as well.

All in all, this film may appeal to youngsters, who will ignore the schmaltz, a lot more than it appealed to me. Also, possibly to adults who like these type of complete sweet fantasies.
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Despite best efforts of Jennifer Garner & CJ Adams, odd movie is boring and dumb
herbqedi21 January 2013
Warning: 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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This review makes me feel like an old curmudgeon
somf14 August 2012
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.
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Not Enjoyable.
Annie Campbell7 June 2013
Warning: Spoilers
This movie is horrible. Maybe it's okay for kids (And really I think that's stretching it) but to me it is definitely not enjoyable for adults. Adults who think it is okay I urge watch Nostalgia Critic's review and think again. The only decent part of this film is the acting and even then some people are trying a little too hard. The parents hat the girl that Timothy meets straight away after Timothy kicked her in the face. The parents don't ask Timothy what he enjoys they just push what they want him to like on him. They never ask Timothy any questions about the leaves on his legs and apparently the adoption lady buys their crazy story about a boy who came to them from the ground to teach them to be good parents and allows them to adopt a child even though they basically say they want to make even bigger mistakes then they made with Timothy because it teaches them to be better parents. But of course everyone has their opinions. But I would never show my children that movie.
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NOT for kids - cliché ending
dbh8506 December 2012
Warning: Spoilers
How many films have this ending? Seriously - it was cliché. You have a magically unusual kid? Okay... let's see what to do... oh, I know! Let's KILL HIM in the end! Oh, that'll really get to the audience. Great idea!

I'm sorry, but that's cliché. We have enough films with really special kids who die. Off the top of my head:

My Girl Pay it Forward Bridge to Terabithia Simon Birch

There are more, but I can't recall the names. Why does a happy ending mean something is "predictable" or profound in some way. THIS ending was ENTIRELY predictable. Of COURSE they'll kill the kid in the movie. We figured that in the first few minutes that the boy was on screen.

How about having him live and be special - AND adopt the little girl at the end? Why couldn't they do that? This film is very upsetting to children - and it ticked us off. For us, the film could have been fantastic... but they had a predictable, cliché ending. Kill the magically special kid.

I do not recommend this film.
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There is something odd about this movie, indeed.
Boba_Fett113816 September 2012
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.

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Do not believe the positive ratings of this movie!!!
thimage26 March 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Do not believe the positive ratings of this movie!!!

Don't waste your time or money on it. It is beyond bad, it is an insult to intelligence.

The screenplay is so naive (typical wishful thinking... literally) it's painful to watch. Even someone equipped with a bottom IQ can predict what will happen at any time and the characters are so clichés that it made my eyes roll in disgust. It also goes right into the same category as Benjamin Button, banging head first into the wall of unacceptable temporary suspension of disbelief. One can never get into the story because the particulars that one has to take for granted are not only delusional (which just might be accepted with some airtight explanation, fantastic or not), but also summarily and very naively dealt with. I also wish to point out that nowhere on the planet would you be authorized to obtain a child in adoption with the kind of story given to the government agency in the movie. Stay away from this one. It's sheer lunacy... not for intelligent people.
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Really Really Stupid
headly6612 December 2012
Warning: Spoilers
The whole feel of this movie is annoying, the acting is sub par, the humor uncomfortable. Jennifer Garner is obnoxious and simple, she seems to just accept this dirt boy as normal and allows him to just do normal things without even checking if he as something wrong with him or carries diseases. The father is an absolute dolt. Why is the girl, who is so much older than Timothy in the same grade? The scene with him drawing the mothers boss is just silly. The music scene with the WAR song is incredibly stupid. The soccer scene made me want to pull my hair out. These overbearing moronic parents are unwatchable. Everyone at the pencil company meeting just accepts that he has leaves growing out of his legs without question. Worst line of the movie...."If this boy can have a leaf on his ankle, then we can make a pencil out of leaves, lets get to work!" That makes no sense and neither does this film. Then they get to adopt a child even though they tell this insane story.

This pointless waste of time may be the worst movie I have seen in a decade.
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Very mushy and fun
lagudafuad8 October 2012
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.
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A very odd film to say the least
estebangonzalez1028 November 2012
¨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.
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The odd life of....who cares
Gavin12 December 2012
Warning: Spoilers
I'm a big fan of Jennifer Garner, have been since I first saw her in Alias and then again in Catch and release. But I have to ask myself: what the hell was she thinking when she agreed to do this movie ?

2 People struggling to have a child get their wish when one 'grows' in their backyard. The result is just like the name of the movie suggests: odd.

The movie creates a mood of desperation and sadness both in the lives of the husband and wife and the people in the town trying desperately to keep their jobs. As the story unfolds, the story stumbles around in the dark as it tries to find its way to a happy ending.

The scene where Tim scores an own goal really made me wanna stop watching. No effort is made to define the time line, so I wasn't sure if the movie takes place over a few days or a few months.

If you watching this depressing dreck, I'd suggest taking a few Prozac first, as it is neither comedy or drama, but rather morbid garbage that would stink if stink could be purveyed via video.
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Overrated movie with bad moral
jimihandrix1 December 2015
Warning: Spoilers
Okay,so this movies is about this couple who can't have children but one day they discover that a boy grew in their garden and they decide to adopt him.At first this may sound pretty harmless,but trust me,it's not!First let me tell you the thing which bothers me the most at this movies-the parents are awful,they barely interact with Timothy,they won't appreciate him unless he comes out as a winner in the front of their families and bosses and they won't even let him have any friends!I really can't blame this on the actors,hell even the kid tried his best,but this script is so dumb and the worst part is:the parents didn't learn anything from this experience!I'm not kidding,they even tell the adoption center that they didn't really learn from their mistakes but will make new mistakes instead!And still,the adoption center gives them a kid!Seriously people,I do understand that you have a different opinion,but I really don't get what's so heartwarming about this movie,it says that bad parents should be allowed to have kids too as long as they will do different mistakes,not learn from their previous ones!
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Lived up to my expectations...
Hunter25 June 2013
Warning: Spoilers
I had a feeling this movie wouldn't be good, but I didn't want to judge it without seeing it. In hindsight, I wish I wouldn't have wasted my time. This movie was definitely one of the worst movies, if not the worst movie, I've ever seen.

To start, the characters were unbelievably awkward. When you watch a movie, the idea is that the audience is able to identify with the characters in some way and feel for them. All of the characters in this movie were so...strange that I found it impossible to like them or have compassion for them. The actions and dialogue of all the characters were so unnatural.

The plot was ridiculously cliché. You knew what was coming of course. Timothy didn't have to tell his parents he was dying and would leave them for you to know that that was the direction the plot would take. You really knew it from the beginning, considering the parents are referring to their PAST experience with Timothy and want to adopt a new kid.

I suppose really young kids and horribly sensitive people could enjoy it, but my ten-year- old brother said it was the worst movie he's ever seen. So, I'm not really sure if these people would enjoy it. Just don't waste your time.
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One of the best movies of the year!
donillini7 August 2012
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!
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An oddly-paced and oddly-acted endeavor
gregeichelberger21 August 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Count me as the odd man out in my opinion of this picture.

Disney Studio's effort to create a benign supernatural tale — with more than a passing nod to "Forrest Gump" and "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" — about a young boy who magically appears from a garden, at first seemed a bit ludicrous.

Upon viewing The Odd Life of Timothy Green, however, reveals it is actually a bittersweet, emotional, heartfelt experience. Yet, there are some glaring distractions which make it difficult to give that experience a total recommendation.

Directed by Peter Hedges ("Pieces of April," "Dan in Real Life") and written by Hedges and Ahmet Zappa, The Odd Life of Timothy Green often cannot decide which road it wants to travel. Some critics may label this a well-meaning, yet thinly-veiled sentimental blah-fest, I tried to see it more as a positive family film, certainly flawed and certainly clichéd in part, but overall somewhat satisfying with several genuine lump-in-the-throat moments.

However, unlike the recent "Moonrise Kingdom," where the presence of two offbeat young characters was a revelation, here, it becomes tiresome.

Told in flashback to an international adoption official, the story has married couple Jim and Cindy Green (Joel Edgerton, "Warrior," and Jennifer Gardner, "Arthur") unable to conceive, yet passionate about having a baby. So, in true Hollywood fashion, they write down the attributes of a perfect child and bury the notes in their garden.

I cannot imagine anyone doing such a thing, but . . . thanks to a "Home Alone"-like mystical contrivance, though, a little boy, Timothy (CJ Adams, "Dan In Real Life"), makes his entrance.

At first, the Greens believe him to be a runaway, but realize he has come from a place they could not possibly comprehend (the leaves growing from his ankles illustrates the weird circumstances they find themselves in).

They make no effort to explain his presence to family, friends and school officials, other than to say it was a miraculous adoption. Then, trying to be "perfect" parents, they find themselves repeating the same mistakes their own mothers and fathers did. This is especially true of Jim, whose dad (David Morse, "16 Blocks") ignored him and/or bullied him for years.

Yet, for all of his strangeness (he goes into trances while looking at the sun and seems blissfully idiotic, at times), Timothy has a most positive attitude and brings joy to older actors such as M. Emmet Walsh ("Back to School") and Dianne Wiest ("Parenthood"), among others.

He also becomes involved with another bizarre loner, Joni (Odeya Rush, "Curb Your Enthusiasm" TV series), who has a birthmark instead of vegetation and drags giant tree limbs around on her bicycle.

Meanwhile, a subplot concerning the possible closing of the town's pencil factory causes more consternation, since both parents are employed at the plant. Token villains, including Cindy's snobby sister, Brenda (Rosemarie DeWitt, "The Watch"), and factory owner Franklin Crudstaff (Ron Livingston, best known for "Office Space"), are inserted simply to root against.

A sports element is also thrown in for no particular reason other than to show the good and bad side of moms and dads who derive success and failure from their offspring.

The messages contained within, while certainly valuable and sometimes acted admirably, often lack a sense of subtly — sometimes the writing is carved with a chisel and smeared with too many situations we have seen many times before.

That, and there is absolutely no chemistry between the leads, with Garner's irritating performance as the meat-headed "mother" provoking much more anger and impatience than empathy.

My frustration was also how to separate the wheat from the chaff here. I think any movie that supports a pro-family, pro-adoption agenda has a definite place in our current film lexicon. I just wish that "The Odd Life of Timothy Green" was a better example of those values.
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Great Film
bunabonfrankz19 August 2012
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.
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A lame duck in the dark
Markus Dorst13 December 2012
I am all for sweet, romantic, family themed fantasy movies. I am a Disney fan. And to me, this movie is a waste of time. It is not heavy enough on the fantasy aspect, one could have done much more to explain how all this came about.

The movie is filmed with a lighting that often makes it impossible to see what is going on. Why do people think that mysterious scenes are to be filmed on sets that are darker than my Granny's coal cellar?

Jenny Garner is one of my favorite actresses since ALIAS and I even forgave her the Electra disaster. In this movie though, she is overacting like a theater novice and the whiny little child is annoying.

Just one big disappointment.
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Very Touching Film, but Just a Tad Too Short
pv71989-115 August 2012
Warning: 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.
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No Magic
Albert McGhee15 August 2012
The Odd Life Of Timothy Green is a movie that wanted to show how magical life would be if you are a parent but, there was no magic to this film. Jennifer Garner's performance is channeled in from her bed. Her performance stuck out like a cabbage in a rose garden. Ahmet Zappa writing for this movie is created like a seventh grader trying to hurry up and go to recess. Peter Hedges directing shows how to make cupcakes with spit polish and he did not create cupcakes. CJ Adams who plays Timothy, should have caught a cold and his performance would have been better. Why was this movie made? How did this movie get made? This movie is one of the worst movies I have seen all year. The more I think about this movie, the more this movie stands out how Disney needs to be Disney and not anyone else.
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Hi I'm Tomothy.
Acks King24 November 2012
At last, I did finished watching this gobbledygook. Most people say this movie is for children, apparently they think all children are retards. Just because the movie is terrible to watch doesn't mean children are gonna like it. It was embarrassing watching this movie. I don't know if the actors were in on it but the director definitely had some long repressed vendetta against them and wanted to make an example out of them. How anybody with a sane mind can like this movie is beyond me, even though its just a fairy tale. Am I glad I haven't succumbed to all this new age rhetoric. The movie is really gonna confuse couples on whether they really should have children or not.
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One dimensional
Teodor Nikov19 December 2012
SCHLOOOOCK! SUCH SCHLOCK! Contrived, fake, plastic, sugary, predictable, boring, stupid, Hollywood schlock! I can't believe Disney fell so low. then again... tangled...

The characters - stupid stereotypes with about as much dimensions as a pencil line.

The atmosphere - fake 60s-70s weird and not in the Tim Burton way. The whole thing is just so transparent. From the weird earth tone clothes, to the lack of any discernible music. It's all just so uncanny valley.

The story - predictable. It's pointless to watch this beyond the first 15 minutes!

The cinematography is fine, but boring. Too many goddamn leaf shots. OK WE GET IT!

It's tries so hard to be a tear jerker, but it winds up making you groan. Hey at least it's not specifically religious, just magical.

They tried to make a fairy tale, but the thing about fairy tales, they have morals and drama, this has neither. DO NOT WATCH, if you have a shred of taste in film or intelligence!
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Just plain stupid
joshua kit27 December 2012
I suppose this would be an acceptable movie for small children. But for grown ups who are accustomed to any level of critical thinking, this film is a waste of time. I gave up after about 40 minutes. It would abundantly obvious where it was going.

There's one scene which comes across as especially contrived and insulting. The roughneck uncle arrives and promptly organizes a Dodgeball game. Who the hell plays Dodgeball at family gatherings?

There's one scene which comes across as especially contrived and insulting. The roughneck uncle arrives and promptly organizes a Dodgeball game. Who the hell plays Dodgeball at family gatherings?
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Perfect for children, enjoyable and entertaining for adults
Sue Averett27 August 2012
Shortly after the beginning of the movie, we are taken to a scene in a doctor's office where Cindy (Jennifer Garner) and Jim Green (Joel Edgerton) are told that even though they have been trying, they might never be able to conceive a child. Fast forward and we see them seated in front of adoption agency officials telling them the story of their son, 10-year-old Timothy (CJ Adams). They are explaining to a younger man and a middle-aged woman "it may be hard to believe....but"—flash back to the story.

Cindy Green is devastated by the news from the doctor. At home she goes into her room and weeps. Jim knocks on the door and together they decide to confront their problem by drinking wine and imagining all the best qualities that their son would surely have. They write down all the things on little pieces of paper and put them in a wooden box. In a terrible rain storm with lots of thunder and lightning, they bury the box in the garden.

The next morning Jim wakes up and instead of Cindy in the bed, he finds dirt. Puzzled, he calls the police because he thinks someone has been in the house while they slept. He refers to the storm the night before, but they tell him there was no storm. It seems it was only at their house. Shortly, they find a small boy covered with dirt in the house playing with some things packed in a box.. Though surprised, they get him scrubbed up and discover he has leaves growing from the bottom of his legs.

Immediately her sister Brenda Best (Rosemarie DeWitt) shows up at the front door with her family. Jim and Cindy hurriedly put socks over his legs and calmly introduce Timothy to everyone. The development of the plot involves all the good qualities that they imagined their son would have—though he is different and even odd. He befriends a girl (Odeya Rush) who is self-conscious because she has a birthmark, he changes Jim's intimidating father (David Morse), he shows his musical talent by beating a rhythm on a coconut shell, and he frequently throws out his arms with his face to the sun. And, always the leaves, both on his legs and on the trees are part of the story.

Joel Edgerton and Jennifer Garner are flawless as Timothy's playful and protecting parents, but CJ Adams (Timothy) carries the story. The setting is the small town of Stanleyville, somewhere in the Midwest (actually filmed in Albany, Georgia). The main industry is a pencil factory where most of the people work. The movie has a range of emotional issues such as father/son relationships, sibling rivalry (Cindy and her sister Brenda Best—her name is appropriate), bullying, competition, love and sadness. Part of the movie is a fantasy (who "finds" a child from the garden?) and part is reality (infertility, difficult people, work problems, etc.). It is perfect for children and enjoyable and entertaining for adults—maybe not Disney's best, but still worth seeing.
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