Sigourney Weaver, Emile Hirsch, Jeff Daniels, Michelle Williams, Kip Pardue, Deirdre O'Connell, Ryan Donowho and Suzanne Santo

Dan Harris

Running Time:
111 mins

"I'd like 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 falls apart.

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.


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.


The Squid and the Whale


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