Director Peter Hedges wanted to make a movie like "It's a Wonderful Life," the kind of film that people take into their hearts. In the case of "The Odd Life of Timothy Green," he may have succeeded as time proves its value and it touches more lives through Blu-ray and DVD.

For the time being, I'm sure audiences were as perplexed as I was when I saw the trailers. Even as the movie, my wife and I were intrigued but still disconcerted ("Really? A pencil factory?")

But as we watched we were very drawn into this very simple, elegantly presented story -- gorgeously filmed in Georgia (though in the audio commentary --THANK YOU -- the director admits there were some leaves added to trees for some shots.

We have had our own issues in child bearing, as have our friends, and had we lost a child through tragedy or illness, "Timothy Green" might be hard to enjoy. It is no spoiler that Timothy's visit is temporary -- it's telegraphed constantly throughout the film, but the departure is not as maudlin as it might have been under less skillful hands. It's bittersweet but enriched with hope and growth.

It's also filled with gentle humor and superb performances by Jennifer Garner, Australian actor Joel Edgerton, the always-great Dianne Wiest and Ron Livingston (who seems to be aging into Joe "Joey Zaza" Mantegna. This is definitely worth seeing.

Everyone may come away with a different impression, depending on their relationship with their parents, siblings and chlldbirth experiences. I found it similar to Walt Disney's "Pollyanna" in the sense that one person can, in their small way, have a profound effect on people.

"It's a Wonderful Life" was not a box office bonanza when it was first released. It's premise, though we've now seen dozens of knock-offs since, was probably strange to theatergoers back in the '40s. Maybe the time will come for the Greens just as it did for the Baiieys.
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