Disney’s new film is darker than its viewers might expect. It is compelling and, in the end, rewarding.
Walt Disney Pictures has broken new ground with “The Odd Life of Timothy Green” (rated PG).
The film does not carry the PG-13 rating of the “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise, but this movie is much darker.
Jim and Cindy Green—Joel Edgerton and Jennifer Garner, respectively—are a barren couple.
They bury a list of their never-to-be child’s qualities in the garden, and that night, a mysterious boy shows up claiming to be their son.
Timothy, played by Cameron “CJ” Adams, is everything the Greens wanted in a son, except that he has peculiar leaves growing from his legs.
As Timothy’s leaves begin to change like the trees in Stanleyville, where the movie is set, it becomes clear that Timothy has a secret.
The movie, like Timothy, is unusual. It mixes fantasy with reality in a way that is not quite complementary.
Stanleyville is completely separated from the world in all regards. Its citizens all know one another, dress more or less the same and all rely on the local pencil factory.
In this respect, it is like the film “Moonrise Kingdom” released earlier this year.
“Timothy,” however, also starkly presents the real world in scenes of a hospital and the government’s adoption agency.
In a real sense, it rips its characters from fantasy.
While uncouth, the bold style follows the narrative and perhaps foreshadows Disney movies to come: charming, challenging and presenting love, life and loss in a very real and gripping way.