Complete A-Z list

Odd Life of Timothy Green, The (DQ)


Stars: Jennifer Garner, Joel Edgerton, CJ Adams, Odeya Rush, David Morse, M Emmet Walsh, Dianne Wiest, Shohreh Aghdashloo, Rosemary DeWitt, Lois Smith, James Rebhorn., Ron Livingston, Common

Director: Peter Hedges

Although it does touch our emotions at the end, this fantasy weepie also reaches new heights of silliness. Actions within the story are also silly; for starters, 30something marrieds Garner and Edgerton, both giving strident performances, rise from the despair of failing to conceive, by shouting and then drawing things their 'son' should have - a big heart, artistic talent, 'never gives up' etc - and burying them in a box in the garden in the middle of a storm. Yes they do.

In the night, during heavy rain that only seems to fall in the Greens' garden, 10-year-old Timothy (Adams) rises from the earth, finds his way miraculously into their house, and declares himself to be their son. Somewhat taken aback to find that their new acquisition has leaves on his legs, the Greens nonetheless determine to keep him, and protect him from the wicked world.

Of course, he also has the attributes their put in their box, but no other discernible talent. Soon marked out as a loner, Timothy's only friend proves to be a 14-year-old girl (Rush), who makes things out of leaves and has a huge birthmark on her shoulder, which brands her also as an outsider. Then, however, Timothy's leaves start to fall..

There's a good cast in all this but, although the kids are fine, many of the adult performances seem forced and alienating. And the sillinesses persist. Why, for example, would the school soccer coach (Common), forced to field the clueless Timothy when a player is injured, ask the kid just to stand still: it makes no more sense than many of the things in this beautifully-Technicolored, family-friendly, but, one suspects, unmarketable film. Odd indeed.

David Quinlan

USA 2012. UK Distributor: Walt Disney. Technicolor.
101 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: U.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 0.

Review date: 04 Apr 2013