Here’s a strange one.
Earlier today, Disney released the first poster for “The Odd Life Of Timothy Green,” a film I knew nothing about until they released that poster. Never heard of it.
A little reading reveals that it’s the new film from Peter Hedges, which is a good sign. Hedges was the writer of “About A Boy” and “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape,” and the writer/director of both “Pieces Of April” and “Dan In Real Life.” I spent an afternoon with him talking about his work during the release of “Dan In Real Life,” and I thought he was a really smart, down-to-earth guy who wants to make smaller personal films inside the studio system.
But I still wasn’t sure what this new film was about. I thought it was intriguing that it’s one of the films written by Ahmet Zappa, who’s been setting up a ton of stuff lately. And now, thanks to Zappa’s Twitter feed, I was directed to a Vimeo page where the trailer just went up.
Right away, the thing that strikes me is how directly this speaks to a very sad sort of wish fulfillment, and it’s a genuine pain of the sort that isn’t normally dealt with in children’s films. Or family films. Whatever you want to call this. With the “Disney” name front and center here, it’s surprisingly tough ground they’re covering, and I admire that. I think the idea of a night where you try to deal with something really painful head-on, only to wake up and find a totally unexpected result is a standard fantasy device, and it speaks to the way we wish the world worked.
I like seeing Joel Edgerton booking bigger and bigger roles. The Edgerton boys are crazy talented on all fronts, and they’re going to eventually conquer Hollywood. It’s just a matter of time. And Jennifer Garner’s mined this sort of material before to particularly strong effect in “Juno.” Together, they’re an interesting couple to ground the film, all told, it’s an interesting first impression this poster and trailer make.
There’s no firm release date yet, but I’ll be keeping an eye open for “The Odd Life Of Timothy Green” sometime between now and the end of the year.