Imaginary Heroes (2004)

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Imaginary Heroes (2004)

Postby trevor826 » Fri Aug 05, 2005 2:08 pm

Directed by Dan Harris

Starring Sigourney Weaver, Jeff Daniels

This film that could have easily been a TV movie but for the quality of the casting. The basic premise; a familial tragedy causes the collapse of an already dysfunctional family, the father has no idea how to communicate with his children, his wife or even himself. The mother puts on an air of being completely oblivious to the facts, one daughter is in University (shes lucky to be out of it) and the son is so full of his own problems and angst that although he can see whats happening and shares a close bond with his mother, he doesnt want to have to deal with the problems.

Its a good representation of a middle class family in crisis, it is also obvious that the family has been on the verge of collapse for a long time, a complete communication breakdown and a total lack of respect pervades the air only to be accentuated by the tragedy, comments that seemingly have no meaning are daggers to the heart when the truth eventually spills out and guilt is borne by a couple of members of the family who both feel that they could/should have prevented the tragedy.

So any problems? Due to the nature of the set up, Sigourney Weaver kept reminding me of her similar role in The Ice Storm. As for the son, half the time he looked as though he was trying to do an impression of Donnie Darko, so not a bad film but an above average dysfunctional family in crisis drama, not as good or interesting as The Ice Storm, Donnie Darko or American Beauty but generally very fine casting.

Classic quotes:

Speech at the High School graduation These were the best years of our life. At least that's what they told us. Personally, I hated high school. I hated all of you and I hope you all rot in hell!

Cheers Trev

BBFC rating 18

Re: Imaginary Heroes (2004)

Postby justindeimen » Fri Jul 21, 2006 8:49 am

Saw this last night.

Well I agree with you that the casting helped it immensely. I found it had some great sequences and was a pretty solid film overall.

However, it veered towards melodrama at the end, eradicating its neutrotic vibe that it had in the beginning. I also found it cluttered with the subplots of the girlfriend and his best friend and his mother's friends etc. I understand how Dan Harris was trying to create issues that teenagers dealt with especially around the context of a tragedy but I felt he tried to do too many things that didn't exactly have the emotional resonance that it should have had.

The character of Tim, played by Emile Hirsch also felt like he was dithering between a worldly teenager who knows his predicament is temporary and a victimised one who finds no hope. It can't be both, especially since those frames of mind are definite and not analogous.

Finally, the ending was a little too much as well as too little. So the revelations came thick and fast but where was the impact, the fallout? If slightly longer with a bit more tightening, I think we would have had a gem on our hands.


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