Film: ‘The Odd Life of Timothy Green’ (2012)

Walt Disney Pictures

“The Odd Life of Timothy Green,” written and directed and written by Peter Hedges,  gives new meaning to the expression “fresh produce direct from the garden.”

Jim and Cindy Green (Joel Edgerton and Jennifer Garner) have just learned they cannot have biological children. Overwhelmed by grief, they write a wish list of the child they nonetheless hope to call their own one day. The couple puts these hopes and dreams into a wooden box which they bury in their backyard.

That night a vicious heavens-opening freak storm washes over the property, and the water does its job. A little boy manages to break through the soil and announces to the stunned couple that he – Timothy (CJ Adams) – is their new child. Fresh produce indeed – he has organically sprouting leaves on his lower limbs to prove it – and with an inexplicable point of origin.

The child’s vegetal-like incarnation– Cindy is also a gardener – is all Venus and Taurus: loving, earthy and expansive. It’s transcendence cutting through matter. Timothy is the beatific archetypal Divine Child, bringing comfort to everyone around him, including a girl who feels marginalized by her bright red birthmark.

But soon the boy begins to lose his leaves which signals a cosmic expiration date for him and new beginnings for his make-shift parental unit.

While “Odd Life”’s key takeaway seems to the importance of nurturing people who are “different,” the movie also focuses on the couple’s self-development – including child-rearing lessons for a potential adoption down the road – under stringent Saturnine time constrictions. This bon bon’s wrapping might be achingly sweet but the filling is tart, adult and sobering.

Rating: ♀ (Venus)

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