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Doug & the Movies: 'The Odd Life of Timothy Green'


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SALT LAKE CITY — It's an odd little film appropriately titled, "The Odd Life of Timothy Green." It's the tale of a young, childless couple, who tell a strange story to an adoption agency as they apply to become parents.

Jennifer Garner and Joel Edgerton star as Cindy and Jim Green, who live in an idyllic little town whose economy is based on the making of pencils. Jim works at the pencil factory and Cindy is curator of a museum dedicated to the Crudstaff family, the owners of the writing implement enterprise, which, by the way, is not doing all that well in the 21st Century.

As their story unfolds, we discover that after their doctor delivers the heartbreaking news that they will not be able to conceive a child, Cindy and Jim put together a list of everything they would have hoped for the child they can't have and ceremoniously bury the list and their dream in the backyard garden.

A violent storm brews, unleashing rain, thunder, lightning and, apparently a child, covered with mud, scurrying about the Green's home. Talk about "odd." The child is very comfortable in the environment, is articulate, calls Cindy and Jim "Mom" and "Dad," and says his name is Timothy — the name that would have been given had the couple been blessed with a son. What in the world is going on here?


This is a touching little film that everyone in the family can enjoy.

This is where you have to let the reins go entirely on plausibility; after all, this is a fantasy right? But beyond the miracle of a child emerging from the garden, there's an unquestioned acceptance of all this among family members and the community that is inexplicable. All I can say is, just roll with it.

I haven't mentioned one of the most unique things about our little Timothy, wonderfully underplayed by C. J. Adams — he has leaves growing on his legs. And, what's even more interesting is it seems a leaf drops every time one of the wishes for the child is fulfilled.

There are many little subplots that weave through the story bringing charming and eclectic characters into focus, including a young girl who bonds with Timothy. Odeya Rush stars as Joni who is a little unique herself. The moment she discovers Timothy has leaves on his legs is priceless. Dianne Wiest is a favorite of mine, and as the crotchety matriarch of the pencil dynasty, she is perfect.

This is a touching little film that everyone in the family can enjoy.

"The Odd Life of Timothy Green" is only rated PG and I'm giving it 3 stars.

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Doug Wright

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