'Imaginary Heroes' Synopsis

Director’s Statement
I've always been interested in what's underneath a person's shell. Even as a kid I could tell people were sometimes hiding things deeper and darker than they would ever admit. I knew there were stories beneath the surface. I knew there were mistakes and regrets that were actually the foundations of their lives, but when people have spent their entire lives building a facade, it's often impossible to break it. An outside force has to do it -- to shatter it to pieces.

The Greek tragedies of Aeschylus begin with a single action, a single mistake -- the 'original sin'. It is the seed from which the story grows, like the branches of a tree, or the butterfly effect of the chaos theory. Someone makes a mistake in the past. What happens when that mistake changes history so much that it informs everything that happens over the next twenty years? What happens when the mistake itself is a secret? Where do people think their problems come from?

This is my motivation behind IMAGINARY HEROES.

IMAGINARY HEROES is a look at one long year in the lives of an ostensibly typical, upper-middle-class suburban family. It tells a tale of a family in crisis with wit, warmth and a very contemporary sardonic spin.

Following a sobering family tragedy, the Travises go to pieces. Teenaged son Tim (Emile Hirsch), the black sheep of the family, walks through his life like it’s a bad dream. His father Ben (Jeff Daniels) begins treating his wife and children like strangers and completely disengages from the world around him, while his mother Sandy (Sigourney Weaver) takes to smoking pot and letting loose with all the considerable sarcasm she can muster. Meanwhile, she wages a bitter feud with the next-door neighbor over carefully concealed secrets that threaten to tear the family apart.

With elements of pathos, salty humor and self-discovery, Imaginary Heroes is ultimately about what it means to be part of a family -- the good, the bad, and everything in between.


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