4 October 2005 | dromasca
mature work from a very young script-writer and director
It is hard to judge 'Imaginary Heroes' without referring to the fact that director and script writer Dan Harris is only 25. You can hardly believe seeing this film, which is not only a mature piece of work, professional and deep, but also with some of the defects of routine specific to older directors.
The setting is the American suburb, too familiar from 'American Beauty' or 'Desperate Housewives'. As in 'American Beauty'the film turns around a suicide, but here it happens at the beginning of the movie, and we are left watching a mid-class family coping with the death of the gifted sportsman brother and son. Emile Hirsch plays the younger brother, Sigourney Weaver is the mother, both are excellent trying to cope with the loss, to find the reason and motivation to survive. Harris drives his actors with a sure hand, and the first two sections of the film (there are four in total, as the seasons of the year) build a wonderful tension, with credible dilemmas and real questions. It is the second part of the film that disappoints slightly, it looks too tired and conventional, and I suspect that the producers may have interfered in the work of the young script-writer and director, trying to bring him closer to the Hollywood convention. That's how this film fails to be a somber version of 'American Beauty', with a different focus. I am sure however that we will hear a lot about Dan Harris in the coming years.