‘The Odd Life of Timothy Green’ Movie Review
Disney has always been the name in family entertainment, but as the times move and change, so does their willingness to touch on subjects that are perhaps less traditional than they have in the past. A prime example of this is their new live-action film, The Odd Life of Timothy Green. Starring Jennifer Garner and Joel Edgerton (think back to the Star Wars prequels…I know it hurts…he played the young version of Luke’s uncle), the movie is about an infertile couple, Cindy and Jim Green, who find themselves parenting a child who grew out of their garden.
Infertility, adoption, non-traditional families…doesn’t sound like Disney’s usual fare, does it? Well, thank goodness for that. It’s about time someone sent the message that not all families are the same. Of course, Disney’s message is wrapped in a family-flavored coating, but it’s still there.
The movie itself is lovely and sweet. CJ Adams beat out thousands of kids for the titular role and it’s easy to see why. He’s both precious and precocious, but he brings a quiet joy to the role that other child actors might not have been able to achieve. His origins are as mysterious as the leaves that grow on his legs, but never once does the audience doubt that he is a true gift to a couple who needed a miracle and a town that needed to be saved.
Garner and Edgerton are totally believable as husband and wife, but they’re even more believable as new parents who have no clue what to do with the mud-streaked boy in their kitchen. Timothy might have been sent to them, but they quickly learn that there’s more to parenting than just loving a child. Their mistakes with Timothy feel genuine, as does his patience with them. If the end of the movie doesn’t break your heart and heal it at the same time, you might want to check if your ticker is working.
This isn’t to say that the film isn’t without a couple of questionable points. Odeya Rush plays an older girl in the town who befriends Timothy, and while their scenes together are adorable, I left the theatre wondering what the point was behind those interactions. I would have liked to have seen her character fleshed out a little more and, I’m sorry, but a birthmark on her collarbone would not have turned a beautiful girl like her into any sort of a social pariah.
All in all, The Odd Life of Timothy Green may not end up becoming a Disney classic, but it has enough heart and soul to make any fan of such movies very, very happy.
The Odd Life of Timothy Green arrives in theatres on Wednesday, August 15th.