“THE ODD LIFE OF TIMOTHY GREEN” from Walt Disney Pictures, brings to the screen an enchanting colorful journey of discovery, of hope, love and recognizing the future when it arrives.
Directed and written by Peter Hedges, “THE ODD LIFE OF TIMOTHY GREEN” is produced by Ahmet Zappa, who also wrote the story from which the screenplay is based, Scott Sanders, Jim Whitaker, and Executive Produced by John Cameron and Mara Jacobs.
Starring Jennifer Garner, Joel Edgerton, CJ Adams, Odeya Rush, and Diane Wiest, “THE ODD LIFE OF TIMOTHY GREEN” also stars Ron Livingston, Rosemarie Dewitts, David Morse, M. Emmet Walsh, Lois Smith, Lin-Manuel Miranda and Common.
“THE ODD LIFE OF TIMOTHY GREEN” presents a real couple, a likable couple, in Cindy and Jim Green portrayed by Jennifer Garner and Joel Edgerton that are dealing with the power plays of life. The film barely begins when Cindy and Jim are dealt a cruel hand they can’t beat, and as a couple they’ve tried. Together, and uniquely differently, Garner and Edgerton play anguish, sorrow and joy, the roller coaster emotions as they cope with medical anxiety, death of dreams, a looming small town rural recession and everyday life.
Edgerton portrays a loving caring husband who reaches into the air to help his wife overcome the despair of finality. Being the good husband that he is, he pulls her out of the black hole, the deep desolation and together and from there comes their miracle. For that one evening, that one moment, they have their dream and dare to defy fate and live it!
As this is a family film and with that all the dynamics of a typical dysfunctional family including sibling rivalry, unresolved parental issues, Soccer parents, and looking beyond the impossible to see possible.
Having the opportunity to participate in “THE ODD LIFE OF TIMOTHY GREEN” press junket held at the Montage Beverly Hills below are excerpts from the roundtables with Jennifer Garner, CJ Adams and Peter Hedges.
From the Roundtable with Jennifer Garner . . .
Janet Walker: There are a lot of high highs and low lows in the movie it’s so emotional and did you find that exhausting and delivering those high highs and low . .
Jennifer Garner: Yes. I mean whenever a make movie and feel like this is a great comedy kind of thing, you end up crying more on those movies than if it were the biggest tragedy in world, I mean you could play Lady Macbeth and not have to be as emotional as in this sweet little comedy.
This was definitely an example of that and we did some digging for this for sure. And had a lot of conversations about balancing it so that it wasn’t . . . because you stop feeling if you see people blubbering on screen all the time and just kind of making sure it was full emotionally and didn’t go too far which usually means performance wise you get there, you go too far, and then in the editing process you figure out where it is you want to hit those notes. I mean I think in my opinion Peter did a pretty great job of balancing all that out. But I also had Joel. What heaven is Joel? Isn’t he is bliss on a stick.
JW: There’s a lot of things about the film that are non-traditional; It’s a modern story in that the town isn’t recession proof, the family deals with infertility issues, that the child is non-traditional, he’s not from the mom’s tummy. There are a lot of non-traditional issues in it. When you were filming and all of you when you were in the beginning process when you were making your decisions how did you go about handling those decisions, those non-traditional, and signs of the times.
JG: Well whenever Peter makes a movie or writes a book he has something to say, he has a lot of things to say. The way he weaves them into story, he’s such a smart guy and a passionate man and you can see that in just his writing, if you’re just looking at the writing. Writing is something I’m drawn to first and foremost. Obviously, we all fall for a good script but his writing has something special to it. He really cared about making the point that we don’t make things in America anymore. That we outsource everything and you don’t have the joy of holding something up and saying ‘I’m responsible for this.’ I made this.’ And he really cared about what women are going through and having children later and how that reflects on you as woman and it mattered to him that this family was hit by the recession. That they were grappling with all these things at the same time because that’s what life is. It is messy and things don’t just fall in order they way we want them to. So, those were things we talked about, we talked a lot about the car they would drive, I think we spent an hour on what watch she would have. Those are the little details that Peter really paid a lot of attention to, and that we all did.
As far as that kind of magical realism, whenever you deal with a movie that has a little sprinkling of fairy dust you’re very conscience of the rules; what are the rules? How what does this mean? When you have leaves growing out of your legs does that mean X or does that mean Y? Are you seen by a botanist or by a pediatrician? Those things are a constant conversation on a film like this.
From the Roundtable with Joel Edgerton . . .
Janet Walker: “THE ODD LIFE of TIMOTHY GREEN” is an emotional roller coaster, I mean, its high high’s and low lows and how intimidating or challenging was that role for you and was it exhausting?
Joel Edgerton: Well, it definitely has softer edges, also getting back to your question in a way, it is a film with a lot of softer edges and you know a lot of people say it’s a very gentle movie and I think, well, in a way those things are more challenging because what Peter [Hedges] is striving to do is make a movie where the chest cavity is just open, like you can see the heart. The risk is that it becomes to cheesy or corny but the benefits are that you really feel something and you really go home with something because it makes you just bring your own life to it.
And I love that! And I think that this movie kind of wasn’t a challenge and it was. As a guy, I think you always have to be doing something cool or tough and one thing I said to Peter the other day is what I really admired about what he’s done is he’s hasn’t tried to be cool, he hasn’t tried to be anything he thinks a movie going public might want and it’s kind of unique in that sense because it just kind of strips the skin off.
But at the same time it’s a fable, its real life with magic dust on it and strangely enough those movies with a bit of magic dust kind of say more about real life in a way. Maybe because we get to go into the cinema and go ‘this is a fable’ and fables have this cheeky way of leaving messages in your pockets you know. You come out of the cinema and say ‘it made me think about this and I thought it was about a kid with leaves on his feet.’ If it were hyper-realism if Peter had made more of a PIECES OF APRIL version of family for this it may allow you to go well this isn’t my family.
From the Roundtable with CJ Adams . . .
Janet Walker: Throughout the entire filming, is there a one moment or a memorable moment from that sticks in your mind more than any other?
CJ Adams: Probably the moment that really sticks in my mind, that I want to keep in my mind, is the pool scene. Because in the pool scene I had to stay underwater for hours on end to film the scene. So, in order to do that, I had to learn how to scuba dive and now that I know how to scuba dive I want to remember that.
From the Roundtable with Peter Hedges . . .
Janet Walker: There are two things I want to ask you, you mentioned the influences of Edward Hopper. His paintings are a still of solitude, they project solitude, and his paintings are also non-traditional you don’t see a lot of the clutter, a lot of the busyness, that you see in a lot of contemporaries of his time. But there is that non-traditional elements in the film, the town isn’t recession proof, the family deals with infertility issues, that the boy is a not a traditional birth in all of that and I appreciate your sensitivities, now, I saw that and felt that and in the film and how that came about and how challenging was that to bring to script and then bring to the screen?
Peter Hedges: for me to tell the story without those things there’s not much use for the story. It’s a story for now. The truth of the 21st century is the economy is in the tank, more and more people are infertile, we didn’t really go heavy on the drought, but there is certainly a sign ‘Drought Warning’ and I probably would have made the grass a little browner that may be the only concession I made with the studio. The idea was to make the movie feel relevant. Ultimately at the core of the film is a story of loving and longing. The magic that happens is the magic that occurs when you love, and when you yearn and when you don’t give up.
The ensemble cast that creates “THE ODD LIFE OF TIMOTHY GREEN” weave together a delightfully, charming film. Jennifer Garner is superb! The truthfulness of her action; knowing fate, life, destiny can’t be changed and trying to move forward. It was genuine, heartfelt and gut-wrenching. An Oscar worthy performance!
“THE ODD LIFE OF TIMOTHY GREEN” opens nationwide August 15th. Check local listings for show times.