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IMAGINARY HEROES

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An unexpected tragic event causes an already strained suburban family to crumble further in this debut comedy-drama from writer and director Dan Harris. Mom (Sigourney Weaver) turns to drugs and rude behavior, Dad (Jeff Daniels) grows remote and high school senior Tim (Emile Hirsch) is left to tiptoe through the wreckage, as well as manage adolescence's standard growing pains. Harris dabbles in dark humor and many of these scenes are effective, though a certain ironic detachment sacrifices our emotional involvement and makes the film's more maudlin moments feel uncomfortable (shouldn't we have a snarky joke here?). With Weaver's caustic, emotionally distant mother snapping off the screen with barely controlled rage, comparisons to Ang Lee's 1997 The Ice Storm are inevitable, but so too are accolades for her seasoned performance. Starts Fri., April 1. Harris (AH)

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