It’s a very distinct world we’re entering when The Odd Life of Timothy Green begins, and while the film capitalizes wonderfully on the potential, it unfortunately also falls victim to some of the traps.
Jim and Cindy Green (Joel Edgerton and Jennifer Garner) are a happy couple living the medium-town life, but when they learn that they aren’t going to be able to have kids, they don’t take it very well. In an effort to deal with their sense of mourning, they bury all their hopes and dreams for their child in the backyard. That night, Timothy shows up in their house, covered in dirt and ready for middle school. Their self-proclaimed son left a large hole in the garden in his wake, and comes equipped with leaves growing out of his calves.
The Greens are naturally at something of a loss, but there seems no way to deny either the magical nature of the boy who has inserted himself in their lives, or the fact that he is theirs, and they’re going to have to figure out how to make that work.
As Timothy begins to show them the many joys of parenthood, and the curiosities involved with a child who appears out of nowhere complete with all the hopes they made up for him, the Greens find themselves spinning off from his own innocence to face the difficulties of their own lives. Both because of and in spite of Timothy’s awkwardness, Jim and Cindy gain a new sense of self, and a new reason to confront other people.
Jim has long had a troubled relationship with his father, who he feels was never supportive, or even around, during his childhood, and though there may be a lot you’ll put up with when it comes to yourself, Jim will be damned if he’s going to let anyone look down on Timothy. Similarly, Cindy has long put up with her obnoxious sister’s incessant praise of her own children, and she’s going to make sure Timothy doesn’t play second fiddle, no matter the results.
The story comes to us as the Greens are telling their story to a social worker in an attempt to adopt a child. This doesn’t exactly lead to a great sense of suspense about where things are going, but it is perhaps an integral part of how the film is trying to relate the story’s purpose, and ultimate goals. In the end, this is a charming story that was woefully overlooked in theaters, and while some elements are more heavy-handed than necessary, the spin on parental life is an interesting one, not least because the Greens manage to realize a great deal about themselves, and who they actually are by virtue of the magical appearance of a son they were never going to have.
The movie looks great, though this is perhaps not the very best that Blu-Ray has to offer. Real sticklers will notice minor deficiencies, but they don’t amount to much in the end.
The special features themselves are just a little sparse, and you’d really hope for a bit more here. You get a documentary featurette that is better than the average behind-the-scenes effort, and fans will appreciate getting this look that focuses on the trials and tribulations of getting this story on screen. Beyond that, there are a few deleted scenes, and a director commentary track that definitely add some value, but are perhaps not the most interesting of their ilk. The commentary with Peter Hedges is a good one, but seems only of interest to serious fans as opposed to the casual viewer. There is a lot of detail on the concept translation efforts. Not a flawed track, but one that I fear many will not finish.
Apart from these there is a music video and short featurette focusing on the song “This Gift” by Glen Hansard.
Overall, it’s certainly a decent effort, but the bonuses aren’t quite as worthwhile as one might expect from the film, which is far better than most will probably expect.
Below check out some more info, a few clips, and enter to win a copy of the Blu-Ray.
From Academy Award-nominated writer/director Peter Hedges (Dan in Real Life, What’s Eating Gilbert Grape), and starring Golden Globe® winner Jennifer Garner, Joel Edgerton, Oscar® winner Dianne Wiest and CJ Adams as Timothy Green, comes this highly imaginative story about a happily married couple who can’t wait to start a family but can only dream about what their child would be like. Then one stormy night young Timothy shows up on their doorstep.
Soon they and the small town in which they live learn that sometimes the unexpected can bring some of life’s greatest gifts. The story is written by Ahmet Zappa (“American Gangster,” “Changeling”). Bonus features, include a documentary “Family Roots: Bringing ‘The Odd Life of Timothy Green’ to the Screen,” which looks at this unique family story and the creative team that brought it to life; “Glen Hansard: Behind ‘This Gift” – the Academy Award® winning songwriter tells how he and Marketa Irglova crafted the moving end-credits song; “This Gift” Music Video by Glen Hansard and much more!!!
“You Need To Look Out Back”
“One Amazing Game”
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