Putting the spotlight on abstract family dynamics is what writer/director Peter Hedges does so well, and why audiences have enjoyed films he has either written, or written and directed, over the years – movies like What’s Eating Gilbert Grape (1993), About A Boy (2002), for which he received an Oscar® nomination for the screenplay, Pieces of April (2003), and Dan in Real Life (2007). Now, Hedges takes a bit of a fantasy turn with the Disney family pic The Odd Life of Timothy Green, starring Jennifer Garner and Joel Edgerton, in theaters Wednesday, August 15th.
“What I’ve never had in a story before, that we have in this film, is a wonderful magical component,” explains Hedges. “There are so many great stories that deal with elements of magic like E.T (1982) and Big (1988). At their core is an elemental yearning for ‘I want to go home.’ This story has that same yearning and journey.”
Cindy and Jim Green (Garner and Edgerton) are two parents whose journey to have a child is not going their way. One last time, they decide to write down all the attributes and talents their child would have if he ever existed. After burying the slips of paper in a wooden box in the garden, a storm rains down on only their home, resulting in the discovery of Timothy, who quickly becomes part of the family. It’s a story that calls on your imagination to accept, while seemingly implausible, the magical part of life’s unexpected gifts.
“Love is really what matters in a family,” says producer Scott Sanders. ”As long as that’s there, a family can be created from anything, including a boy born in a garden.”
Hedges recalls, “When I first met with Disney, I told them this is a story for anyone who is a child or was one, or anyone who is a parent or has one.”
“This is the most relatable film I have ever worked on,” says Garner, “because I am a parent, but also because I am a sister, a daughter, a child.”
“I love the idea that when you see this film you may walk out of the cinema and actually say life is good and being a good person is a great thing to strive for,” says Edgerton.
To give audiences a sneak peek at the movie, the cast and crew delivered a behind-the-scenes look at The Odd Life of Timothy Green.