“The Odd Life of Timothy Green”
Writer-director Peter Hedges sprouts an unapologetically sentimental story of family, love and acceptance with “The Odd Life of Timothy Green.”
The “Dan in Real Life” filmmaker may unhesitatingly play the heartstrings but he blessedly avoids any of the cynicism so common in modern movies in his tale of a childless couple (Jennifer Garner and Joel Edgerton) who desperately want a baby. After they bury a box containing all their wishes for a child in the garden, Cindy and Jim Green are shocked when a muddy 10-year-old boy named Timothy (CJ Adams) appears in their nursery and calls them Mom and Dad.
The Greens determinedly pass off Timothy as their newly adopted son, but the boy is indeed odd. Both innocent and knowing, he has a strange habit of basking in the sunlight and has a spray of snip-proof leaves on each ankle.
As they experience the long-awaited joys and trials of parenthood, Jim and Cindy are astonished at how the child's bright spirit not only changes their lives but also alters the attitudes of others in their economically troubled small town.
Working from a story by Ahmet Zappa (yes, the son of Frank), Hedges germinates an earnest, somewhat bittersweet fable that will be too cloying for some movie lovers. But for film fans seeking an uplifting family tale, there's magic here.
The Blu-ray includes an audio commentary, five deleted scenes and two making-of featurettes, but the best extra is the music video for the end-credits theme “The Gift,” by Oscar-winning “Once” star Glen Hansard.
— Brandy McDonnell