Film review: ‘The Odd Life of Timothy Green’


The Details

The Odd Life of Timothy Green
Two stars
Jennifer Garner, Joel Edgerton, CJ Adams. Directed by Peter Hedges.
Rated PG. Now playing.
Beyond the Weekly
Official Movie Site
IMDb: The Odd Life of Timothy Green
Rotten Tomatoes: The Odd Life of Timothy Green

These days, most of Disney’s heartwarming, family-oriented live-action fare ends up on the Disney Channel rather than in theaters, and The Odd Life of Timothy Green is clearly a future Disney Channel staple. This soft, sentimental fable about a magical young boy (the title character, played by CJ Adams) who suddenly appears in the home of a childless couple (Joel Edgerton, Jennifer Garner) traffics in blandly inoffensive platitudes, with little in the way of narrative urgency or meaningful conflict. It’s not quite goofy enough to appeal primarily to kids, but it’s also too simplistic and underdeveloped to grab most adult viewers.

Edgerton and Garner play Jim and Cindy Green, who are devastated that they are unable to conceive a child. When 10-year-old Timothy shows up unexpectedly, they embrace all of the wonders of parenthood, while the beatific child manages to teach each adult he encounters an important life lesson. He even provides the impetus for saving the struggling pencil factory that is the primary employer in the Greens’ ridiculously idyllic small town.

Timothy’s life turns out to be anything but odd; indeed his entire existence is as predictable as can be, and nothing along the way is funny or touching or dramatic enough to make up for the tired storytelling. Writer-director Peter Hedges has made a couple of abysmal movies (Pieces of April, Dan in Real Life) that try to obscure manipulative sentiment with faux-edgy setups, and at least here he just piles on the treacle directly. That doesn’t make it go down much easier, though.


Josh Bell

Josh Bell is the film editor for Las Vegas Weekly, where he's been writing movie and TV reviews since 2002. ...

Get more Josh Bell

Previous Discussion:

  • This year’s event features another packed lineup of short films, with more than 120 selections spread over 20-plus thematic programs and four days.

  • The three-day event—which will showcase more than 50 short films, along with one feature—kicks off with a free night of films at Backstage Bar and ...

  • Returning to the Palms, LVFF 2018 offers talked-about indie films shorts programs, animation, student films, parties and more.

  • Get More Film Stories
Top of Story