The Odd Life of Timothy Green is directed by Peter Hedges and debuted in 2012. The movie opens with our main characters Cindy, played by Jennifer Garner, and Jim Green, played by Joel Edgerton. The couple is being informed that it is time for them to stop attempting to have children- because they have reached the end of their fertility treatments.
The Greens reside in a small town so the pressure of starting a family is always looming over them. This small town with traditional values views bearing children as a sign of a successful and happy marriage. It is considered to be vital to the well-being of the community as a whole.
It is expected that a couple will experience moments of pain and jealousy when witnessing their friends or members of their community effortlessly start a family while their own dreams of having a child are close to shattered. A study conducted by Jaffe and Diamond states that a couple experiencing infertility can experience pain and jealousy when viewing families with children.
We see this jealousy in Cindy as she projects her resentment heavily onto her sister. Her sister appears to have the perfect family life filled with three perfect children. Later on, the couple travels to their quaint farmhouse in Stanleyville, “the pencil capital of the world.” In an attempt to cope with the news, they fill a small box with notes that describe their idea of the perfect child. Afterwards they bury the box and a strange, but somewhat magical storm brings their perfect child to life.
The next morning the Greens awaken to a ten-year-old child named Timothy, played by CJ Adams. Timothy refers to Cindy and Jim as Mom and Dad. The only drawback is that the Greens’ perfect child has leaves growing out of his ankles. These leaves cannot be cut but naturally fall off after Timothy has a meaningful or life-changing encounter with others.
Timothy went through a lot of bullying due to his unique appearance. Other children made fun of him because of the leaves growing from his ankles. This is similar to the climax of the movie. The climax is when Jim decides to face his adult bully- his boss.
Throughout the movie, we see Jim struggle to confront his boss Franklin Crudstaff who is seen throughout the movie bullying Jim. For example, Franklin decides to steal Jim’s idea when he invented a pencil made out of leaves, which was inspired by Timothy.
The movie comes to an end when we see the Greens welcoming their newly adopted child into their home. They no longer have to dream about what their own child would be like thanks to Timothy.