The Odd Life of Timothy Green
|The Odd Life of Timothy Green|
Theatrical film poster
|Directed by||Peter Hedges|
|Produced by||Scott Sanders
|Screenplay by||Peter Hedges|
|Story by||Ahmet Zappa|
|Music by||Geoff Zanelli|
|Edited by||Andrew Mondshein|
|Distributed by||Walt Disney Studios
|Box office||$55.3 million|
The Odd Life of Timothy Green is a 2012 American fantasy comedy-drama film co-written and directed by Peter Hedges and produced by Walt Disney Pictures. Based on a concept by Ahmet Zappa, the film is about a magical pre-adolescent boy whose personality and naïveté have profound effects on the people in his town. It received mixed reviews from critics and had modest ticket sales in its debut weekend.
The film is told from the perspective of Cindy (Jennifer Garner) and Jim Green (Joel Edgerton), as they explain their experience with Timothy (CJ Adams) in an effort to persuade an adoption agency to allow the couple to adopt a child.
Cindy, who works in the town's local museum, and Jim, who is employed at the town's historic pencil factory, reside in the drought-stricken town of Stanleyville, North Carolina, self-labeled as "the world capital of pencil". The Greens are informed by doctors that they are unable to conceive. Distraught by the news, Jim convinces Cindy to dream up their ideal child and write the child's characteristics and life events on slips of notepad paper.
The couple places the notes inside a wooden box and buries it in the backyard garden. After a thunderstorm, which seemingly affects only their property, a ten-year-old arrives at their home claiming the Greens as his parents. After finding the box they buried smashed to pieces around a large hole in the ground where they originally buried it, and finding the boy inside their house, covered in mud, they realize that the boy, named Timothy, is actually a culmination of all their wishes of what their child would be. The Greens also discover that Timothy has a startling feature: he has leaves growing on his legs.
The next day, at a family picnic, Timothy is introduced to members of his family: Brenda Best (Rosemarie DeWitt), Cindy's pompous sister; James Green Sr. (David Morse), Jim's estranged father; and Mel (Lois Smith) and Bub (M. Emmet Walsh), Cindy's paternal aunt and uncle. The parents take Timothy to their friend and town botanist, Reggie (Lin-Manuel Miranda), where they learn that Timothy's leaves cannot be removed.
Timothy begins to attend school, where he meets Joni Jerome (Odeya Rush), a girl he encounters during a bullying incident, with whom he begins a friendly relationship. Meanwhile, the town's pencil factory, the largest employer in Stanleyville, begins laying off its employees. Timothy convinces Cindy and Jim to design a prototype for a new pencil in an effort to keep the pencil-producing business viable.
Unbeknownst to the parents, one of Timothy's leaves falls off each time he fulfills one of the qualities listed on the original slips of paper. Timothy eventually reveals to Cindy and Jim that his time of existence is short and that he will eventually disappear.
The Greens' meeting with the adoption counselor concludes with Cindy presenting a letter that Timothy left them before leaving. In the letter, he explains to them what he did with each of his leaves that fell off, with a montage sequence showing each person whose life Timothy touched. After an unspecified amount of time, the adoption counselor is shown pulling up to the Greens' house in a car with the little girl who is to become the Greens' daughter, Lily.
- CJ Adams as Timothy Green. Adams was chosen to be cast in the titular role after working with Hedges in Dan in Real Life.
- Jennifer Garner as Cindy Green
- Joel Edgerton as James Green, Cindy's husband that works in the pencil factory.
- Dianne Wiest as Ms. Crudstaff, Cindy's boss.
- Odeya Rush as Joni Jerome, Timothy's crush who has a big birthmark above her chest that she's embarrassed about. She is the one who urges Timothy on because he wants to make her happy.
- Rosemarie DeWitt as Brenda Best, Cindy's sister who brags about her own kids.
- Ron Livingston as Franklin Crudstaff, Jim's boss.
- David Morse as James "Big Jim" Green Sr.
- Common as Coach Cal
- Shohreh Aghdashloo as Evette Onat
- M. Emmet Walsh as Uncle Bub
- Lois Smith as Aunt Mel
- Lin-Manuel Miranda as Reggie
- James Rebhorn as Joseph Crudstaff
- Michael Arden as Doug Wert
- Rhoda Griffis as Dr. Lesley Hunt
In June 2009, Peter Hedges was signed to write and direct the film, which stemmed from an idea brought about by Ahmet Zappa. The film is one of the first films produced by Scott Sanders Productions after a deal with the Walt Disney Studios was made in 2007.
|The Odd Life of Timothy Green: Original Soundtrack|
|Soundtrack album by Geoff Zanelli|
|Released||August 14, 2012|
|1.||"You're Gonna Find It Hard to Believe"||1:22|
|2.||"Life Goes On"||3:18|
|3.||"That's Not Normal"||4:23|
|6.||"Is He for Us?"||1:31|
|7.||"Cherry on Top"||0:56|
|8.||"I Can Only Get Better! (A Glass Half Full Person)"||1:17|
|9.||"Love and Be Loved"||2:43|
|10.||"There's Something You Need to See"||1:46|
|11.||"Funny, Like Uncle Bob"||2:06|
|12.||"Why Not Make a New Kind of Pencil?"||2:20|
|14.||"Picasso with a Pencil"||1:18|
|15.||"Run the Other Way"||0:24|
|16.||"This World They Created"||1:09|
|18.||"The Championship Game"||1:47|
|19.||"I'm with "0""||1:42|
|20.||"The Winning Goal"||1:24|
|21.||"I Let Her Go"||1:22|
|22.||"We Better Get Inside"||2:25|
|23.||"Never Give Up"||1:44|
|24.||"So Much Is Possible"||3:28|
The Odd Life of Timothy Green was met with a mixed to negative reception. Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reports that 33% of 120 critics have given the film a positive review, with a rating average of 5.2 out of 10, offering the consensus: "It means well, but The Odd Life of Timothy Green is ultimately too cloyingly sentimental—and thinly scripted—to satisfy all but the least demanding viewers." Mary Pols of Time wrote, "This is a movie about old-time values, a movie with Frank Capra aspirations. But Timothy’s life, his very conception by Zappa and Hedges, is definitely more odd than wonderful." Michael Phillips of the Chicago Tribune, praised the film's art direction and cast, "It's an elegant, honeyed production, photographed (in Georgia) by cinematographer John Toll, and it's full of interesting actors." However, he differed on the script saying, "this fable of the gifted child doesn't go for the throat as it goes about its odd business." Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times was more enthusiastic in his 3½ star review, calling it "a warm and lovely fantasy... on a picture-postcard farm in the middle of endlessly rolling hills where it is always Indian Summer."
The film had a $2.3 million debut on August 15. It made $7.68 million in three days and finished the weekend off with $16,377,472 domestically. As of December 10, the film has grossed $51.6 million in North America.
|2013||Young Artist Award||Best Performance in a Feature Film - Leading Young Actor Ten and Under||CJ Adams||Won|||
|Best Performance in a Feature Film - Supporting Young Actress||Odeya Rush||Nominated|
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- Phillips, Michael (August 14, 2012). "'Odd Life of Timothy Green' a tale of a little green sprout". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved August 14, 2012.
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