Review: "Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made"


This inventive, book-based movie pulls off the rare trick of being a thinking person's film for kids.


The Oregon city that provides the setting for Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made has the unofficial slogan to "Keep Portland Weird." Likewise, this film's tagline could read, "Keep Timmy Weird."


The quirky tale celebrates difference, be that in the form of a misfit 5th grader with an exceptional imagination, or in its Portland setting, home to self affirming murals, naked bike races, bearded hipsters, activist kids, and tattooed librarians. "Normal is for normal people," Timmy and his struggling mom say, in defiance as much as self preservation.

Timmy's single-minded, boy-against-world superiority is laugh-out-loud funny, but as it slowly dawns on the viewer that his refusal to adapt is actually problematic for his own well being as well as for the adults who care for him, the film also becomes a poignant psychological study. His imaginary friend and emotional crutch is the polar bear Total, and their tender, E.T.-like hand-to-paw farewell implies a new beginning for the boy.

Read the full review at Common Sense Media.