Tag Archive: The Odd Life of Timothy Green

New Year’s Again

Image from IMDb.cm

Image from IMDb.cm

Family Movie Night

By Karyn Bowman

New Year’s Day always brings out the resolution list for me. Being that it is my birthday as well, it seems like a doubly good reason to set goals for the coming year.

The most popular ones are counted as quitting smoking and losing weight. In the last few years, I vowed to eat healthier and exercise more which had lead to a drop of about 40+ lbs. It wasn’t easy, took longer than I thought it would and is totally worth it.

I always vow to write more, to see more movies, and to spend more time with my family.

One of the movies I was finally able to watch this past week is about making change, it is about hope when there seems to be none. When my daughter saw that The Odd Life of Timothy Green was actually in, she grabbed it for our movie night. This is a movie I would watch with tweens and older. I do not think many children under the age of 10 would want to watch this movie because the pacing is too slow for them.

The story is about a couple who have tried nearly every way possible to have a child. Finally they have been given the news that there is nothing more the doctors can do, they are not going to have a child the old fashioned way.

So that night, in the midst of their disappointment and despair, Jim Green (Joel Edgerton) begins to write his idealistic aspects of the child he is never going to have. His wife, Cindy (Jennifer Garner), joins him in the exercise. Then they put the pieces of paper in a box and bury it in a garden, making the hardest resolution of all. They say goodbye to their dream of having a child.

Later that night, a thundering storm comes through. The couple wake up, hearing a loud noise downstairs. While getting everything settled back into place is when they discover Timothy. A nine-year-old boy has suddenly appeared in their house. He has leaves on his ankles and there is a hole in the garden where the box was planted.

What can they do but what they do which is to love him. They accept him in their family and start being parents. Interestingly enough, they learn the hardest lesson of parenting during the short time Timothy is in their life. As you can imagine there is a sad part of this movie and a happier ending. It is a movie where fairy tale endings can and do happen.

More than that, Timothy Green leaves us feeling hopeful, he inspires the American can-do spirit without the meanness. The boy reminds his adopted parents and us that anything is possible. While the violent movies as of late show us one way to solve our problems, it is not practical nor morally correct to take a machine gun to places that anger us. Instead, this movie encourages us to think of new ways to solve our problems – whether it is making a different pencil or becoming a parent.

Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.

Making Do

Family Movie Night

by Karyn Bowman

One of the problems of renting movies from the store in town is that the movie I want to see is not always back and ready when I am ready.

Case in point, Sunday I was ready to watch The Odd Life of Timothy Green starring Jennifer Gardner and Joel Eddgerton.

I wanted to watch a life re-affirming movie, one that reminds me a of the joys that are mixed in with all of the sorrows.  The story is about a childless couple who write down all of the aspects of their dream child that they have not been able to conceive. Then they take the papers, put them in a box and bury the dream in the back yard. Imagine their surprise when a child comes from that spot who slowly reveals himself to be all of the things they dreamed. That was the movie I was hoping to see.

What I saw instead was the movie box with an empty hook for the tag.

Someone had beat me to the movie, someone was enjoying it but I was not.


That is when I went with my second choice, Dark Shadows starring Johnny Depp.

I had put this movie on my list of safe scares. Trust me, there are things here to scare a little kid but not a tweener or anyone older.

Poster Image from IMDb.com

Poster Image from IMDb.com

A re-vamp of the 1960s soap opera, this movie brings Barnabas Collins (Depp) back to his mansion in Maine after being trapped for nearly 200 years. His goal is to bring greatness back to his surviving family members. Elizabeth Collins (Michelle Pfeiffer) is the strong matriarch raising her daughter while Roger (Jonny Lee Miller) is the weak willed patriarch more interested in lifting money than making it. Nor is he interested in his son, David,  who misses the mother who died at sea.

The family appears to be plagued by a curse. Their livelihood has failed, they are barely keeping the manor together. Elizabeth hires a new nanny for David who fits in perfectly, maybe too perfectly. But the curse is really a series of problems caused by vengeful former lover of Barnabas who has lived as long as he has and worked to create a fishing empire.

What works is Johnny Depp as Barnabas. He delivers lines well and remains true to the character, with the exception of one or two scenes that are entertaining but do not work. However, when he is paired with Pfeiffer the air crackles and pops. They share the same goal and intensity of saving the family. There are hidden layers for nearly every character that makes you want to keep watching.

However, I find there are some glaring problems with big holes in the plot and characters that do not stay true to themselves. I wanted more Victoria, David and Liz, less Doctor Hoffman. I wanted more gothic atmosphere and less killing.

For me this movie was a miss while my 15-year-old thought it was a hit. Perhaps it is a case of great style, little substance.

Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.