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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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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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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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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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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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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