What could a childless couple want more than anything in the world? To be parents, naturally. So universal and timeless is this theme that many similar fairy tales, whether the English Tom Thumb, the Danish Thumbelina or the Japanese Momotaro (literally Peach Boy), have sprouted over the centuries.

So what’s the common thread in all of them? A kindly but barren couple are mysteriously given a miracle child, usually someone small in size, but already capable of speech and play from the beginning.

This is close enough to the situation that small-town infertile couple Cindy (Jennifer Garner) and Jim Green (Joel Edgerton) find themselves in The Odd Life of Timothy Green. Despairing of ever having a child of their own, the two swing from agony to resignation to fantasy. They were ready to move on but when hearing his wife’s painful sobs in the nursery one night, Jim found a way to momentarily halt their aching pain.

He got them penning down all the qualities that they would want in their child. This “Picasso with a pencil” would be almost perfect, having qualities such as a good heart, being honest to a fault and being a determined individual who’d score the winning goal among other things. Then, symbolically putting this dream aside, they collect all the scribbled traits and bury them in a box in their garden.

But “a dream is a wish your heart makes” as Disney’s Cinderella sings, so the studio can do no less than to bring this to fruition, however impossible this might be. So lo and behold, after a night of thunderstorms, their dream child was blooming within the grounds of their backyard, and still had leaves growing from his shins to reveal his plant origins.

You’d think a strange boy, who just happens to embody all the qualities you had hoped for in a child and calling you his parents would freak anyone out. But such is the desperation for the Greens to have a son, they lie that he’s adopted. Afterall, he did claim to be their son.

From then on, the newest film by director and writer, Peter Hedges, centers around Cindy and Jim as they try to figure out parenthood, while also trying to cope with the reactions of family and friends. Other obstacles they face include dealing with problem with bullies in school, the vexation of raising a son who’s deemed ‘different’ and most importantly, hiding the truth and Timothy’s leaves from everyone.

“It’s a hard world to be different in and I don’t wish for Timothy to get hurt. Lots of people hate anything different,” says Cindy to Joni (Odeya Rush) as she worries Joni might be faking a friendship with Timothy.

While they might not have been real parents, they loved him unselfishly enough to want to create a perfect childhood for him, rather than creating the perfect son. The fact that Timothy turned out to be exactly what the couple ideally wanted their son to be, made his parting much more tragic.

The Odd Life of Timothy Green has a trailer that doesn’t do the movie justice as it’s easy to dismiss it as yet another sappy film, when it really isn’t. Clichés of the genre such as how single-child parents are over-protective and the child in return is rebellious and unhappy were significantly avoided. The outcome was a film that exudes enough genuine reality despite it asking you to suspend your disbelief that Timothy could be real, made it likeable and enjoyable for all. Most importantly, it highlighted normal people in highly unusual situations and produced elements of concrete reality.

C.J Adams as Timothy Green is definitely a character to look out for. He exudes a natural charm and flair for his part that makes his acting look seemingly flawless and believable in his first leading role in a movie. Through his character ,Timothy, he threw out valuable learning points for the audience about how one should embrace their differences despite any odds or repercussions, instead of keeping it behind closed doors – or under thick long socks in Timothy’s case. He exhibited to the audience how important it is to be relentlessly positive no matter how bad circumstances can be, which was unlikely for a boy of his age to be portraying.

In all, with its bit of entertainment to balance out the sentimentality of the film, The Odd Life of Timothy Green gives us all a little food-for-thought about life and the individual differences among people that are certainly important in keeping us grounded.


  • Movie name: The Odd Life of Timothy Green
  • Rating: 3/5
  • Release Date: Jan 3
  • Runtime: 100 mins
  • Language: English
  • Censorship Rating: PG
  • Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Comedy, Drama
  • Director: Peter Hedges
  • Main actors: Jennifer Garner, Joel Edgerton, CJ Adams

All photos are from fandango.com and Google Images.