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The Odd Life of Timothy Green(2012)
A childless couple bury a box in their backyard, containing all of their wishes for an infant. Soon, a child is born, though Timothy Green is not all that he appears.
For more about The Odd Life of Timothy Green and the The Odd Life of Timothy Green Blu-ray release, see the The Odd Life of Timothy Green Blu-ray Review published by Kenneth Brown on December 4, 2012 where this Blu-ray release scored 3.5 out of 5.
Starring: Jennifer Garner, Joel Edgerton, Rosemarie DeWitt, David Morse, Ron Livingston, Dianne Wiest
Director: Peter Hedges
» See full cast & crew
The Odd Life of Timothy Green Blu-ray Review
"Please don't ask about my leaves..."
Reviewed by Kenneth Brown, December 4, 2012
The Odd Life of Timothy Green is sure to elicit its share of they don't make 'em like they used to's, and writer/director Peter Hedges' quaint little family drama is indeed from another era of filmmaking, one full of heart-on-its-sleeve charm. But in trying to "make a movie in the vein of Field of Dreams," Hedges overreaches on sentiment and under-delivers on substance. For all of its tear-jerking likability, Odd Life makes an immediate and intense emotional impact yet fails to resonate. It moves but only in increments. It evokes but only superficially. It touches on very real heartache, however briefly, but ultimately shortchanges the depths and desperation of something that affects millions of would-be parents. Really, though, it's just a sweet story with much-too-lofty aspirations. You'll laugh, you'll cry. You'll do everything movie-poster critics love to predict. But the feeling doesn't linger, last or make up for the film's squandered potential.
Smalltown, North Carolina couple Jim and Cindy Green (Joel Edgerton and Jennifer Garner) have just received the crushing news from their doctor that they're unable to conceive. Understandably distraught, the Greens retreat to their separate corners and try to deal with the reality of their situation. That is until Jim decides distraction and denial won't help either of them. Inspired, Jim and Cindy begin to conceptualize their ideal child, jotting dreams of school plays and baseball games on scraps of paper, placing each one in a box, and burying it in their garden. It only helps for a moment, though, and Cindy soon crumples into Jim's arms, exhausted. But fate isn't finished with the Greens. A storm rolls in, the ground in their garden moves and, before you can say Cabbage Patch Kid, a boy covered in mud appears claiming to be Jim and Cindy's new son, Timothy. They're naturally skeptical, of course, but Timothy is an odd one. Odd enough to convince the Greens that their wish has not only been granted, it grew in their garden from the seeds of their shattered hopes and dreams. Alas, happy endings don't come so easy.
There's a cool, breezy effortlessness to the opening minutes of Hedges' third directorial effort (after Pieces of April and Dan in Real Life). Edgerton and Garner deliver outstanding performances, and the despair and defeat they don lead to the most sincere, genuinely heartfelt moments Odd Life has to offer; moments that are sadly all too short lived. Once Hedges turns his attention to the supernatural, he loses sight of the Greens and resorts to thick, mucky genre sentimentality. Mild plot spoilers ahead. It turns out the leaves firmly attached to Timothy's legs fall off as more and more of the Greens' fantasies are realized. When the leaves disappear, so will Timothy. It's a cruel twist designed solely to teach the already suffering couple a lesson in life, and hardly the sort of thing that aligns with the film's adoption-agency interview framing device. (Would you hand a child to two people with such a bizarre story? Neither would I, but they feel the need to tell the tale to the adoption agency all the same, as if it will help in any way.) Add in a paper-thin subplot of economic woe involving a soon-to-be-closed factory and you have all the makings of a heartstring quilt.
But let's not be too hard on dear, gentle Timothy. Although the film barely orbits the likes of Field of Dreams, its complete and utter lack of cynicism and, really, any modern cinematic slant is almost novel. Had Odd Life arrived in the mid-70s or '80s, it may still very well be a family-favorite Disney classic. Those who crave soft sentiment -- or perhaps those who just need a good cry -- will adore everything Hedges brings to the screen, while those who've dealt with infertility firsthand will feel an even greater connection to the material and respond in kind. Its disarming simplicity somehow makes the film both outdated and refreshing, which is either a criticism of its old-fashioned sensibilities or a testament to its pure, unsullied intentions. Pick your poison. To Hedges' credit, the ingrained sentimentality is never dishonest or manipulative, only pervasive and encompassing. For some, it will be too much. For others, it will be exactly what the doctor ordered. I suspect you already know which camp you belong to. Proceed accordingly.
The Odd Life of Timothy Green Blu-ray, Video Quality
The Odd Life of Timothy Green is nurtured by a restrained but lovely little 1080p/AVC-encoded video transfer. Though fittingly understated, the film's yellow-tinted colors, pleasant primaries, warm skintones and richly saturated blacks are represented beautifully, with finely tuned contrast and delicate detailing. Edges are clean, well-defined and free of troubling ringing. Textures are nicely resolved and reasonably revealing. And delineation is quite impressive, save a handful of nighttime scenes that exhibit slight to negligible crush. Fortunately, encoding anomalies are few and far between, and there's no substantial macroblocking, banding, aliasing, noise or shimmering to report. Disney has a firm handle on their recent theatrical releases, and I can't imagine The Odd Life of Timothy Green looking much better than it does here.
The Odd Life of Timothy Green Blu-ray, Audio Quality
Disney's DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround track isn't as memorable as its accompanying video transfer, but only because the film's subdued sound design isn't all that involving or immersive. Light ambience, subtle acoustics and Geoff Zanelli's score make their way into the rear speakers, and thunder storms and other low-end elements make good use of the LFE channel. None of it is sustainable, though, and conversations dominate the unsurprisingly front-heavy soundscape. Thankfully, dialogue is clear, distinct and perfectly prioritized, the overall soundfield is precise, dynamics are decidedly decent, cross-channel pans are reasonably smooth and the entire mix is faithful to the theatrical experience. Long story short, The Odd Life of Timothy Green boasts an often strong, always solid AV presentation.
The Odd Life of Timothy Green Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
The Odd Life of Timothy Green Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
The Odd Life of Timothy Green is an oddity. It doesn't deploy cynicism, sarcasm or pessimism, even temporarily, making it something of a relic from a bygone cinematic era. Strange indeed for a recent theatrical release, but that much more refreshing to those longing for the wholesome, heartfelt films of yesteryear. It certainly isn't a bad film. Just one that won't sit well with those who have an aversion to unapologetic sentiment. Disney's Blu-ray release isn't nearly as divisive, though, thanks to its fantastic video transfer, faithful DTS-HD Master Audio track and solid supplemental package. If family-friendly tear jerkers dot your Netflix queue, this one's for you. If not, you might want to look elsewhere.
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The Odd Life of Timothy Green Blu-ray, News and Updates
• Interview: Writer/Director Peter Hedges, The Odd Life of Timothy ... - December 4, 2012
The scripts filmmaker Peter Hedges pens and the projects he chooses are always personal. Since earning his first feature film screenwriting credit with What's Eating Gilbert Grape, Hedges has written A Map of the World and About a Boy, and both written and directed ...
• Butter Blu-ray - October 16, 2012
Anchor Bay Entertainment and RADiUS-TWC announced today the Blu-ray Combo Pack release of the political satire comedy, Butter, from director Jim Field Smith. Written by newcomer Jason Micallef, Butter stars Golden Globe Award winner Jennifer Garner (The Odd Life ...
• The Odd Life of Timothy Green Blu-ray - October 11, 2012
Disney's The Odd Life of Timothy Green is springing up on Blu-ray combo pack this holiday season. From Academy Award-nominated writer/director Peter Hedges, and starring Golden Globe winner Jennifer Garner (Juno), Joel Edgerton (King Arthur), Oscar winner Dianne ...
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