Commentary
12:57 pm
Thu August 23, 2012

Movie Review: The Odd Life of Timothy Green

The Odd Life of Timothy Green is a fantasy movie that wants to be a charming little moral fable, but that lacks emotional charge and involves one plot problem that may give you no trouble if you keep in mind that there is nothing requiring supernatural beings to have much intelligence.

The supernatural being in this case is Timothy Green, played well enough by CJ Adams because the creature seems to have no emotional life and therefore suffers no conflict.  The role consists almost entirely of gnomic silence and utterances that, at any time they seem to be verging on something important, get interrupted and the subjects are apparently dropped.  This doesn’t enhance interest in the central character in a story that arouses curiosity rather than anxiety or suspense, and the other characters don’t excite us much either.

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The premise story involving Jennifer Garner and Joel Edgerton seems to be setting us up for a study of the hazards of parental preconceptions of a perfect child, but this theme is barely touched on in the story that follows.  There is little or no difference between the pair’s conceptions, and the single quarrel they have seems pretty unmotivated.  What lessons they can learn from raising a child who seems to come from the Stepford wives is unclear, as are the errors that are so prominently referred to without being illustrated.  The soccer action is neither exciting nor believable, and raises questions about the mental and even physical ability of our title character, Mr. Green.  And the implied lesson that all you need is to believe in somebody and he will transform into whatever you desire is simple minded even for a fairy tale.