Remember Sunday nights watching the Disney movie with your family. Well, this is one magical one that you can take your kids and your friends to and relive that good feeling that you get when you go to the movies. We were invited to a screening of The Odd Life of Timothy Green last week at Disney Studios in Burbank and were entranced from the moment the movie started to roll.
The Green’s grief is so tangible that when they dream up what it would feel like to experience special events during the life of “their child” they know they would have, your heart thumps louder because you know they are so raw at that moment and so at the end of their hope that they embrace it in such a way it gives the audience hope for them.
It Starts with Heartbreak.
There’s that moment when the innocence of Timothy Green breaks down your own fears and gives you strength to jump in with both feet and be you and not be afraid.
There’s a lot to see in these clips so we don’t want to spoil anything for you but we do want to share that the movie, the story is a very touching one that gives you strength to be different, gives you hope for things that are hard to reach and brings together families in love and in painful situations.
Your children will identify with Timothy and see from both sides what’s it’s like to be different and how a parent will protect you and a friend will stick with you no matter what. Your friends and adult family members will relate as we all have those in our lives that have to be “perfect” and sometimes make us feel just a little bit inadequate but it doesn’t kill our spirit – just makes us stronger.
Background from the Production Side
We love to share behind the scene’s and special insights into the cast and crew as part of our red carpet report. One of the first questions we had was who directed this film and we’re excited to say it was directed by Peter Hedges who is an Academy Award nominated writer and director, best known for the first movie he was involved with in 1993, “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape,” with Johnny Depp and Leonardo DiCaprio. Hedges has written and directed other films and has published two novels and 12 plays. He is a master-story teller and he gave this film heart and soul in our opinion.
The story comes from Ahmet Zappa (yes, his dad is Frank) who came up with the idea and put magic and parenthood together to ask the question – “do our children belong to us or us to them?”
Jennifer Garner was picked to be Cindy Green, the mother, in this story. She’s been a bad ass in Daredevil and wannabe mother in Juno, and a mother in real-life, so her casting fit the character splendidly. Jim Green is played by Aussie, Joel Edgerton, who is manly in a sweet but not too sweet way. You’ve seen him as a tough guy in Warrior and you don’t see him as someone foreboding in this movie – he’s just a guy who’s never really stood up to anyone before until Timothy gives him that strength to do it.
CJ Green has that wide-eyed innocence, that matter of fact way of making it so, which gives great strength to his character as he is the wisest person in the movie – and one that has to teach others by his actions, not his words.
Small Town America.
The story is set in “Anywhere USA” and touts “The Best Place to Live” on the license plates. Stanleyville is the fictitious name of the town where they are best known for making pencils. You are pulled into a slower, simpler lifestyle where the hustle and bustle of wireless technology really doesn’t take over, it’s used but not used. Kids play outside and ride bikes – wow. The feeling of the story is also “warm” as the color palette was more fall colors and falling leaves like in a Normal Rockwell setting, but not too “old-fashioned” just the right amount of nostalgia to bring the viewer into the right frame of mind for the story.
Location. Location. Location.
During the movie, I was wondering where this lovely place was as the seasons went from fall to winter. The crew found different parts around Atlanta to accomplish this task and had exterior shots in Monroe, Decatur, Rex, Alpharetta (woods) and Canton. The “Stanleyville Pencil Factory” was shot in Monroe inside an abandoned textile factory warehouse. The crew made sure the factory was authentic for the interior shots and even visited one of the few operating pencil factories left in America to duplicate the old-school techniques you see in the film. They also shot footage from the Musgrave pencil factory in Shelbyville, Tennessee, where nothing has changed in fifty years of making pencils.
Rolling out the Red Carpet
One of the greatest things about this red carpet was the request to bring socks to donate and you can still help out until September 3, 2012. The Association of Gospel Rescue Missions (AGRM) will distribute the socks to needy families across the U.S. and Hanes has pledged to match donations up to 10,000 pairs of socks in support of the project. Thank you Disney for helping us remember to give when we can.
About The Odd Life of Timothy Green
Academy Award®–nominated writer/director Peter Hedges (“Dan in Real Life,” What’s Eating Gilbert Grape”) brings enchantment to the screen with “The Odd Life of Timothy Green.” It’s the inspiring, magical story of a happily married couple, Cindy and Jim Green (Jennifer Garner and Joel Edgerton), who can’t wait to start a family but can only dream about what their child would be like. When young Timothy (CJ Adams) shows up on their doorstep one stormy night, Cindy and Jim—and their small town of Stanleyville—learn that sometimes the unexpected can bring some of life’s greatest gifts.
Disney presents “The Odd Life of Timothy Green,” with Scott Sanders, Ahmet Zappa and Jim Whitaker producing, story by Ahmet Zappa and screenplay by Peter Hedges. Starring: Jennifer Garner, Joel Edgerton, Dianne Wiest, CJ Adams, Rosemarie DeWitt, Ron Livingston, M. Emmet Walsh, Odeya Rush, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Lois Smith, with David Morse and Common. This film is rated PG and runs for 100 minutes. For more info please visit http://www.Disney.com/TimothyGreen.