The Odd Life of Timothy Green is anything but odd. While so many critics have obviously had their field day with this magical, touching film, perhaps the reason they so abrasively bashed it is because they couldn’t see past their own noses to actually take in the story. Yes it is schmaltzy and saccharine. Yes it is aimed at childless parents. It’s all that. But it’s also much more. It’s a story that teaches audiences about life. It teaches audiences about the importance of family. And most of all, it teaches audiences to NEVER GIVE UP. Hope is the most important thing in life. As Morgan Freeman noted in the 1994 hit movie, The Shawshank Redemption, “hope is a dangerous thing.” Without hope, what do we have?
It’s obvious that The Odd Life of Timothy is entirely fantastical. But at a time when Hollywood is continuing to churn out endless streams of prequels, sequels, and remakes, this heartfelt family film stands as tall and colorful among the forest of movies currently out there as the leaves on the trees in this movie. What makes it so enjoyable is the emphasis on family. Jim Green (Joel Edgerton) finally came to realize that he was overdoing it as a father to compensate for his own father not being there for him emotionally. How many fathers out there can honestly look at themselves and say that hasn’t happened to them? Perhaps some. But odds are that number is likely very small.
Jim isn’t the only one who comes to realize what he was doing as a parent. Both he and Cindy (Jennifer Garner) realized in wanting a child so bad that they were letting the pressures of parents and others around them get to them. Most parents will likely scoff and say they have never done such a thing. That would be a lie, and those parents know it. No parent is ever ready to be a parent. A parent can only do the best that a parent can. And Timothy reminds Jim and Cindy that they were doing fine, as they were just trying to be the best parents that they could. Perhaps all of this is why so many critics have decided to have the take that they did on this dramedy. Much like certain sitcoms on television over the years, it’s such a mirror image to reality, that it’s unsettling to its viewers who refuse to admit that they see themselves in the roles.
Let the critics say what they will. Those critics have obviously forgotten that while yes, movies are meant as an escape, they are also meant to be memorable. And that is what The Odd Life of Timothy Green is. It’s an escape in that it is so fantastical of a story that audiences can’t help but let themselves be pulled into its world. The story alone pulls viewers into the world of Timothy and his parents. The audio commentary and bonus feature, “This is Family” make the movie that much more fantastical. “This is Family” is the primary bonus feature included in the brand new home release of The Odd Life of Timothy Green. Audiences learn through this feature, how the story came to life. In watching the near ten-minute feature, audiences see above all else just who much the entire cast and crew enjoyed making this movie. That is really what can and should be taken away from watching this feature. In understanding how much the cast and crew enjoyed the movie, it helps viewers to put into words exactly why the movie was so emotional and enjoyable all at the same time.
“This is Family” offers fans a glimpse behind the scenes of the cast and crew. It makes for its own added enjoyment and appreciation of the movie. For the enjoyment and appreciation added by this feature, the audio commentary adds even more of said feeling to this home release. Audiences learn some very valuable pieces of information about the movie via the director’s commentary, speaking of the movie’s crew. One of the most intriguing facts learned via the director’s commentary is that the forest scenes were by and large faked. It turns out that a certain amount of the movie was filmed in February. So the trees with their fall-like leaves were actually fake. They were specially created and shipped in via truck specifically for the scenes in question. Fans of this movie from North Carolina will be equally amazed to learn that certain other Fall scenes were actually shot in Asheville, North Carolina. To be more precise, it’s noted that said Fall scenes were shot at the Biltmore estate. It makes for that much more pride in North Carolina’s film industry.
On an entirely different angle, director Peter Hedges also reveals through his commentary that many of the cast in this movie were people that he personally knew from his own life. Understanding this makes for that much more appreciation for Hedges and his leadership behind the camera. It’s just one more of the many interesting facts revealed by Hedges’ commentary throughout the movie that audiences will appreciate. And it’s one more aspect of what makes this brand new home release that much more enjoyable for the entire family both this holiday season and any time.
With its magic, its heartfelt story, and bonuses, the home release of The Odd Life of Timothy Green has proven to be on of Disney’s best movies in a very long time. It is a truly memorable story. Sure the end is somewhat bittersweet (it won’t be revealed for those who have yet to see it). But it still does have a happy ending proving the value and the power of hope and the hope that there are still more enjoyable movies to come from Disney.
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