The Odd Life of Timothy Green
Jim Green (Joel Edgerton) is a earnest worker at a small town pencil factory, married to Cynthia Green (Jennifer Garner), an earnest guide in the town’s pencil museum. After they learned there is no chance of them having a child of their own, they earnestly think about what they would have liked their child to be like: kind, musical, and earnest.
They write down all this, lock it up in a box in their garde, and earnestly resolve to get on with their lives.
Later that night, Timothy appears from their garden. He’s their kid.
The kids are better performed and more interesting than the adults. CJ Adams is very likeable as Timothy, who is the one character whose wide-eyed sincerity works. Odeya Rush plays Joni, Timothy’s crush, who is the one character who gets to change in this movie. All the adult characters end the film in almost the same place that they began it. The perpetual quest for earnestness leaves them with flat characters and flat performances.
And make no mistake, the earnestness in this movie is unrelenting. Some people may find its earnestness refreshing; I found it tiring and uninteresting. Parents trying their best to raise a kid when they don’t really know how, living in a small town with a factory threatening to close, unresolved family issues, first love, family gardening that Cynthia uses to make preserves…
Despite its fantastical premise, The Odd Life of Timothy Green glorifies the mundane.