Imaginary Heroes

The manicured lawns and expensively furnished living rooms of upper-middle-class suburbia have been so thoroughly overrun by filmmakers looking for Caucasian dysfunction that there's hardly any trauma left to mine. Still, an obviously talented young writer/director named Dan Harris (he co-wrote the blockbuster sequel X2: X-Men United) presses on into American Beauty/Ice Storm territory with bold ambition, where the comfortably installed Travis family must cope with the suicide of its eldest child. Mom (Sigourney Weaver) takes to smoking pot; Dad (a disheveled Jeff Daniels) stops going to work and takes out his resentments on everyone else; 17-year-old Tim (Emile Hirsch), the focus here, quits playing piano, dumps his girlfriend, and starts pondering the dark questions of life. Harris stuffs enough drugs, booze, sex, grief, and soul-killing family secrets into his screenplay that it threatens to burst, but this impressive debut signals some fine grown-up stuff to come.

Credits

Director:

  • Dan Harris

Cast:

  • Sigourney Weaver
  • Emile Hirsch
  • Jeff Daniels
  • Kip Pardue
  • Deidre O'Connell
  • Michelle Williams
  • Ryan Donowho
  • Suzanne Santo
  • Lori Yeghiayan
  • Jay Paulson

Writer:

  • Dan Harris

Producers:

  • Moshe Diamant
  • Illana Diamant
  • Art Linson
  • Gina Resnick
  • Denise Shaw
  • Frank Hubner

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