Before you meet the young boy with a curious accessory -- leaves growing from his ankles -- in the new movie from Disney, The Odd Life of Timothy Green, you think the message may have something to do with the environment. Although there's plenty of dirt from the garden, this feature, conceived by Ahmet Zappa and written and directed by Peter Hedges, is more a story about a childless couple, played ably by Jennifer Garner (the would be mom from Juno) and Joel Edgerton (the Australian actor best known for testosterone fueled flicks like Animal Kingdom), who prove they have the right parental stuff.
Coming from the ground, Timothy is not quite real, but once he arrives, he tests the family, and the town, small enough that everyone knows everyone.
Dianne Wiest, David Morse, Rosemarie DeWitt, Ron Livingston, M. Emmet Walsh, and Lois Smith, provide scene-stealing ballast for the adorable kids (CJ Adams and Odeya Rush) at the movie's whimsical and sentimental heart. The uplifting finale is aided by music from the composers of Once, Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova. As Hedges said at a special screening this weekend, hosted by The Peggy Siegal Company at Goose Creek, "First you have to buy the premise." Completely taken in and moved, this critic cried. Peter Hedges, and sons Lucas (a scout in Wes Anderson's Moonrise Kingdom) and Simon chatted with friends in the garden of Goose Creek. Joe Mantello, Rory Tahari, Michael Gelman, and Terry George were among the well-wishers eating frozen fruit pops and a childhood delicacy, jellied spearmint leaves.
A version of this post also appears on Gossip Central.