[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=10234[/img] Title: The Odd Life of Timothy Green
Starring: Jennifer Garner, Joel Edgerton, CJ Adams
Directed by: Peter Hedges
Written by: Peter Hedges, Ahmet Zappa
Studio: Monsterfoot Productions
Runtime: 105 min
Blu-ray Release Date: December 4 2012
HTS Overall Score:
The movie works its way backward from the Greens, Cindy (Garner) and Jim (Edgerton) sitting in an office at the U.S. Adoption Services about to tell a story that will hopefully justify why they will make fit parents, to last September when they visited a fertility specialist. The news is frankly terrible and on account of all the different medical procedures the couple explored the hospital bills have piled up. The inability to conceive is weighing heavily on Jim and Cindy so in an effort to distract them and put a smile on both of their faces Jim pulls out a pad of paper and they scribble down what they wish their child would be like. The moment of fantasy is extended when they place all the small papers in a shiny wooden box and bury it in the backyard garden. After going to bed a rainy storm rolls in during the night and somehow causes the papers to germinate (like seeds). Continuing with the metaphor, Holy Cabbage Patch Kid! (does anyone remember that craze?) a young boy appears in the garden covered in mud. He sneaks his way into the home and when Jim and Cindy find the cause of the noise, the boy nonchalantly introduces himself as Timothy, the top name the couple had picked out for a boy. Timothy later refers to Jim and Cindy as his dad and mom and in what’s glanced over pretty quickly convinces the couple that he is their new son. So smitten with Timothy and my guess unconsciously delusional is the couple they believe Timothy when he says he grew out of their wishes. It’s not as dumb as it sounds, but actually quite cute. When family and friends show up in the morning for a barbecue Jim and Cindy introduce Timothy, but kindly ask everyone to refrain from asking any questions. With the adding of meat to flame having commenced and dodge-ball chosen as the game to play the guests just assume, not in exact words that Timothy is adopted and Cindy tells her sister that whatever ailments he may have or whatever obstacles they face, they will deal with it.
The drastic manner in which Jim’s and Cindy’s life changes, going from being childless to having this young child out of nowhere calling them dad and mom really overshadows the question of who really is this boy - why haven’t Jim and Cindy at least looked into the possibility of him being a runaway or missing child? I guess it is an aspect that had to be purposely omitted in order for the movie to continue. This results in The Odd Life of Timothy Green
seamlessly delving into familiar family moment territory. There are scenes that will undoubtedly resonate with parents, but they are brief and cliché and ultimately forgettable.
Jim and Cindy comfortably ease into the role of parents of a ten year old boy almost making parenting look too simple, but then again Timothy himself seems to be void of any obvious faults. As the story moves forward it starts to allude to the wishes Jim and Cindy wrote down on the pieces of papers they buried, this is what makes up the majority of the runtime. The problem is that it is very hard to believe Timothy’s amazing talents and even when he fails at something that was part of the wishes he is so cheery and his optimism is so suffocating that the result is a sense of frustration because the writer was so unabashedly pulling at your heartstrings, and for me it all felt unnatural. But there is a positive note to Timothy’s experiences; the repercussions of each point on the wish list slowly coming to fruition are tackled in a pretty clever way, and that is why The Odd Life of Timothy Green
kept my attention.
The story of Timothy is unique, but I wasn’t keen that it was framed around such a serious matter like adoption. If I was the adoption agency employee in charge of Jim’s and Cindy’s file and they opted to tell a truly bizarre story rather than actually write down what they learned from their time with Timothy and how it corresponds to the pertinent questions on the application form, I would look at them in bewilderment and be awestruck at their audacity in trying to sway me with such fiction; ultimately denying them a child. I know it sounds harsh, but Jin and Cindy choosing to regale the agency employee with this tale is so far out of the scope of reality that I had to throw in a few words of criticism.
PG for mild thematic elements and brief language.
The soundtrack in The Odd Life of Timothy Green
is simple, mild, and doesn’t leave much of an impact, it’s not even that memorable, but what it has going for it is precision. Ambient noises are very well represented through the surround speakers, but I wouldn’t expect too much low end bass, it’s almost nonexistent. There are a few directional effects during both thunderstorms and other outdoor moments. Daily activities sound crisp and are balanced perfectly with the dialogue, which is the primary audible focus. The dialogue always takes center stage being distinct in every situation. This isn’t the type of movie to strain your audio setup in any form; a very light workout is all it will get, nonetheless the experience isn’t disappointing.
The 1080p video transfer is pleasant and pretty robust. A good portion of the movie takes place outdoors during the fall and the yellows, reds, and browns of the fallen and hanging leaves look bright and realistic. Outdoor shots in general look vivid and the variety of colors are nicely balanced. A few nighttime outdoor shots are noise free and the black levels never crush the picture. Indoors shot also exhibit fine and exact color saturation. Clothing is nicely detailed along with indoor and outdoor settings looking sharp and nicely textured. The look of The Odd Life of Timothy Green
comes across as natural and authentic and that is a wonderful thing to see in a Blu-ray.
-Audio Commentary with writer/director Peter Hedges
-This is Family
-The Gift of Music
-Music Video: “This Gift”
-The Muppet Movie
If you’re not charmed by Timothy after he is “born” and unable to put reality on the backburner you definitely won’t be capable of enjoying The Odd Life of Timothy Green
. You need to immerse yourself in the whimsy of the story and enjoy the emotional rollercoaster. For me there is way too much sentimentality that permeates too many scenes. I had a difficult time holding on until the end.
The Odd Life of Timothy Green
isn’t just odd in its story, but also that it plays it really safe by not offending anyone, staying away from ridicule or any sort of bitterness, the tone is upbeat and ultimately it is a family friendly movie geared toward children, that you do not see often.