Imaginery Heroes review

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Criminally overlooked at this year's awards, Sigourney Weaver is on terrific form in this American Beauty-style tale of suburban angst. Yes, her middle-class mom with a taste for wacky baccy recalls her Ice Storm character, but she's still at her peak in Dan Harris' affecting study of a family tested by tragedy. Using the Ordinary People template, the X2 scripter charts how Kip Pardue's suicide impacts on his mother (Weaver), father (Jeff Daniels) and sensitive younger brother (Emile Hirsch). Daniels, who idolised his champion swimmer son, becomes a catatonic recluse, while Weaver hilariously turns to pot. Hirsch's ambivalent response, however, points to dark secrets beneath the family's civilised veneer. With a car crash, drug bust and cancer scare, the story is rather overloaded with soap-opera trauma, but this subtle, beautifully played tale remains effective enough to make its gongless obscurity all the more baffling.

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