Imaginary Heroes | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Imaginary Heroes 

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Pennsylvania native Dan Harris has found himself a seat on the Hollywood gravy train writing blockbusters like X2: X-Men United and the forthcoming Superman Returns. But his ticket aboard was the script for this personal, mordantly funny black comedy, now his feature directing debut. Like Ordinary People, In the Bedroom, and Moonlight Mile, it's a study of how grief can eat into family relationships, as the suicide of a high school swimming champ traumatizes his mother (Sigourney Weaver), father (Jeff Daniels), and younger brother (Emile Hirsch). Harris's direction is fairly prosaic, but his skillful script finds lacerating humor in the most painful moments, and Weaver, an actress whose power increases with each passing year, goes to town as the acerbic mom. R, 117 min. Century 12 and CineArts 6, Landmark's Century Centre.

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