The Odd Life of Timothy Green is an odd movie that fits the title.
Jim and Cindy Green -- done nicely by Jennifer Garner (Arthur) and Joel Edgerton (Warrior) -- want to have a child. They're barren. Crushed by the news, they refuse to give up. A last-ditch effort has them burying a box in the garden with individual pages of all of the attributes they imagine their child would have.
That night, a heavy rainstorm produces a surprise. Timothy Green walks out of the garden and plants himself into their lives. He's an odd little boy whose ankles have leaves that -- when cut away -- instantly grow back.
Timothy's job is to teach Jim and Cindy how to be parents.
Written and directed by Peter Hedges, who penned About a Boy and wrote and directed Pieces of April, The Odd Life of Timothy Green is a wonderful and wonderfully done modern fairytale.
Shot in bright colors and hues, Hedges infuses his film with a fresh-out-of-the-garden feel. You can almost smell the dirt and clean, purified air in some scenes. Young actor CJ Adams plays Timothy. If a plant could talk and have a personality, it would be akin to what Adams does with this character.
No, this isn't the best "kids" movie you'll ever see. I'm not even sure it's really a movie for kids, though I know the kids I took enjoyed what they saw.
The Odd Life of Timothy Green is just average. Oddly, and ironically, being average is what gives the film its charm. Considering the kinds of characters planted in today's films aimed at young kids and teens, Timothy is sweet, sunny and a breath of fresh air. Jim and Cindy are nice people -- the couple you wish lived next door.
All of this a tribute to Hedges' extraordinary storytelling ability and skill at giving real life and multiple dimensions to the characters in his films.
Mr. Movie rating: 4 stars
Director: Peter Hedges
Stars: Jennifer Garner, Joel Edgerton, CJ Adams, Rosmarie DeWitt, David Morse, M. Emmet Walsh, Lois Smith
Rated PG for mature themes. It's playing at the Carmike 12, the Fairchild Cinemas 12 and at Walla Walla Grand Cinemas.
5 stars to 4 1/2 stars: Must see on the big screen
4 stars to 3 1/2 stars: Good film, see it if it's your type of movie.
3 stars to 2 1/2 stars: Wait until it comes out on DVD.
2 stars to 1 star: Don't bother.
0 stars: Speaks for itself.