There are few greater pleasures than an utterly charming, Disney family fantasy to make for a perfect Sunday morning. This is simply a beautiful story, told with real warmth, humour and sincerity but despite conforming to a cocoa and blankets family tenderness, its story displays a curious and twinkling eccentricity which really sparkles.
The Odd Life of Timothy Green has performed disappointingly both critically and commercially in the States which is a real shame because its so rare to find a family film which genuinely captures a Spielbergian sweetness and a great story. Jennifer Gardner and Joel Edgerton play Jim and Cindy, a couple who are told they will never conceive. Cindy works in a local museum and Jim in a pencil factory, which adds to the old-fashioned, traditional feel of the movie. Distraught, they very poignantly decide to write about their dream child’s characteristics and bury it in a box in the garden. That night out of the soil emerges a boy named Timothy (CJ Adams), who seems to share the characteristics of the child described inside the box. However, Timothy also has irremovable, mysterious leaves attached to his ankles. He becomes their son, they love him dearly and a bittersweet fairytale is born.
Timothy Green is an adorable film with many really beautiful and inspiring messages for all ages. At the same time, images such as a child being born from underground and the leaves attached to his ankles provide a bold and enriching quirkiness. Many might overlook that it’s also shot gorgeously shot and has a wonderful, pastoral soundtrack which in time will elevate this film to a hidden gem. Cynics might call it too sugary sweet but in my view it earns its sentimentality through such a good, simple story, screenplay and performances, not least from its young star, CJ Adams. In a world of swashbuckling Transformers and CGI heavy exploits, The Odd Life of Timothy Green restores some much needed love and heart into family film-making. Bring the whole family along. Smile, laugh and cry.
The Odd Life of Timothy Green is out now in the UK and US. Certificate PG (UK). Running time 105 mins.
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Review by David Rank