to buy some papers..."
After tragedy strikes the Travis family, the already strained
dynamic shatters, ripping them apart at the seams. Father Ben (Daniels)
retreats from the world, alienating everyone in his family. Son Tim (Hirsch),
tries to get on with his life but his issues start to come to bear as he
starts to discover who he really is. Mother Sandy (Weaver) decides to life
a little and discovers there is more to life that bitter disagreements and
regret. Tragedy could bring them together or completely destroy them.
Family driven, character pieces are the stalwart of independent
film but can 'Imaginary Heroes' make an impact in an already very deep pool.
Writer/director Dan Harris brings the story of the dysfunctional
Travis family to the screen and while the storyline might not be anything
new for independent film, he does do the most important thing, create a
sense of character. At the heart of 'Imaginary Heroes' is a family that
becomes defined by tragedy and one that will either disintegrate or get
stronger because of it.
While the main theme of the piece is coping with loss in your
own way, writer/director Dan Harris does this my injecting some comedy into
a traumatic time. Sandy decides to live a little after discovering her son
Tim's marijuana stash but this only leads to her getting into some juvenile
trouble. Tim seems to be the least affected by the loss but as the film
progresses it is his internal struggles that come to bear. This then becomes
the driving factor of the movie. It is only Ben, the father of the family
that recedes into himself, not able to cope with the loss.
As with any film like this, the subject matter needs an excellent
ensemble cast to bring it to life and Dan Harris and his filmmaking team
have managed to gather together a mix of experienced and up and coming talent.
Leading the way is a fine performance from Sigourney Weaver. The actress's
career has taken a turn for the better in the new millennium as her character
and film choices have highlighted her exceptional talents. As Sandy she
shows a real gift for subtle comedy, providing many of the laughs from the
script as she tries to rebel against the system and her family. Jeff Daniels
is also making a change with his career by appearing in more character driven
movies that allow him to show his talent in dramatic roles. He has also
turned his career around since the turn of the millennium and has championed
many a low budget film. His character Ben is a troubled man who has forsaken
the rest of his family for one goal and when that is taken away, he totally
The young cast members are equally as good. Emile Hirsch is
making a name for himself as a talented young actor. From 'The Girl Next
Door' to 'Lords of Dogtown', he is a character of actor of great potential
and his role of Tim only adds to this statement. Ryan Donowho also makes
waves as Tim's best friend Kyle. This is a role that will get him noticed
in Hollywood casting circles.
'Imaginary Heroes' is a movie that will stay with you for
a long time. All of us have built up people in our minds and hearts only
to be let down when you actually get to know them, which will allow you
to connect with the characters on screen. With excellent performances from
the ensemble cast that bring the imaginative and creative script to life,
this is a movie that showcases the best independent film.
PICTURE & SOUND
Presented in Anamorphic Widescreen 1.85:1 with Dolby Digital 5.1, the
movie is presented well.
Commentary by Sigourney Weaver
The leading lady talks passionately about her role in 'Imaginary Heroes'.
She reveals how she became involved with the project and what drew her
to role of Sandy. The actress talks about the cast and what director Dan
Harris brought to the film and how much she adored his script. This is
a good commentary from Sigourney Weaver that fans of the film and the
actress will enjoy.
Audio Commentary with director Dan Harris and actor Emile Hirsch
Recorded with Dan Harris in Australia and Emile Hirsch in Los Angeles,
this is a chatty and lively commentary track. The pair talks about their
favourite scenes in the film and reveal where and when scenes were cut
from the final print. The writer director also talks about his influences
behind the film, revealing a surprising film that he drew from. This is
another fine commentary that fans should enjoy.
Behind the scenes of Imaginary Heroes (6.27 mins)
Writer/director Dan Harris, cinematographer Tim Orr, production designer
Rick Butler and stars Sigourney Weaver, Emile Hirsch and Jeff Daniels
take you behind the scenes of the movie. Here we hear about the casting
and the director's approach to the film. The mini-featurette also reveals
how the filmmakers created the seasons.
Behind the Scenes Photo Gallery
View images from the filming of the movie
Deleted Scenes (11.02 mins)
Entitled 'Narcoleptic teacher', 'Apology/messy divorce', 'Physics class',
'On the way to the party', 'At the Minimart', 'Secret Marines', 'Removing
the Cast' and 'Aren't you Jewish', these deleted, alternative or extended
scenes are accompanied by commentary from writer/director Dan Harris.
Sony have done an excellent job with this low budget release. While the
featurette maybe very short, the two commentary tracks more than make
up for its shortcomings. Fans should be very pleased.
Squid and the Whale
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