6.5/10
1,199
13 user 9 critic

Imaginary Crimes (1994)

A recently widowed, small-time hustler struggles to raise his two teenage daughters on his own and still make a dishonest living in 1950s Indiana.

Director:

Writers:

(book), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Valery Weiler
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Abigail Tate
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Margaret
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Greta Weiler
Richard Venture ...
Judge Klein
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Eddie
Tori Paul ...
Young Sonya
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Gigi Rucklehaus
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Ginny Rucklehaus
Bill Geisslinger ...
Bud Rucklehaus
William G. Schilling ...
Mr. Garrity
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Storyline

Coming-of-age story set in the 1950's stars Harvey Keitel as a small-time hustler/dreamer, recently widowed, who tries his best to care for his two daughters, 17-year-old Sonya, and 12-year-old Greta, while Sonya's rapid disulisionment with her father puts her at odds with him more times than nessessary. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

When a father doesn't live up to his dreams... a daughter has to stand up for hers.

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for theme and some very mild language | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

14 October 1994 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Crimes Imaginários  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Gross:

$89,611 (USA)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Harvey Keitel and Chris Penn previously co-starred in Reservoir Dogs (1992). For both films, the second word in the title ends with an "s". See more »

Quotes

Sonya Weiler: Never has a man less equipped for parenthood tried so hard.
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Connections

Featured in Siskel & Ebert: Memo to the Academy - 1995 (1995) See more »

Soundtracks

Would It Matter At All
Performed by Jim Gatlin
Written by Jim Gatlin
Courtesy of Rykodise
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User Reviews

 
Willie Loman with daughters
4 January 2000 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This is a great movie. I'm amazed that it got made and done so well. First kudos go to Sheila Ballantyne who wrote the novel. A story like this cannot be made up in committee or by hiring the hottest screen writer in town. It has to be lived. There's no question that Ballantyne lived it. And then it has to be understood in the light of love before it can be shared with us. And she did that.

Second kudos go to Tony Drazan who directed and interpreted. It can be seen that he loved the story and he wanted it to be beautiful, and he made it so.

He picked the dearest, sweetest girls to play the parts of Sonya and Greta at various ages. And he had to have the right man for their father, a flawed man, like all of us, a man doing the best he can, a man with values that don't really work, a man who lost his young wife to cancer and was left to raise his two daughters alone, a man like Arthur Miller's Willie Loman who had big dreams never realized, a man neither hero not villain; in short a man who had to be played with delicacy and without maudlin sentiment. Harvey Keitel fit the part, that of a schemer and a dreamer and a self-deluded hustling con man, and did a fantastic, flawless job.

Fairuza Balk, who played Sonya was wonderful, and Elizabeth Moss as Greta was adorable beyond expression, and so beautifully directed. The girl who played the young Sonya was not only excellent, but looked enough like Fairuza Balk to be her younger sister: perfect casting. And Kelly Lynch who had a limited role as the mother was exquisite.

The interaction between the father and the daughters was painfully veracious, filled with real- life tension and heart-breaking disappointments, but done without abuse and without any of the dysfunctional family sicknesses so often expressed these days. We see his failure as a father on one level, and yet in the end we see through the eyes and the voice of Sonya a greater truth: in spite of his weaknesses he actually succeeded as a father. In fact we see that whether he knew it or not, the one thing that he did right in his life, although he wavered plenty, was bringing up his girls against the great odds of his defective character. And the love shown him by his daughters, so beautifully projected by both Balk and Moss, was wonderful to experience since it is so seldom seen these days when the usual style is to trash men and their part in the family. And the nonexploitive, nurturing and loving role of Sonya's English teacher, played with a fine delicacy by Vincent D'Onfrio, was a much-needed change from the usual cinematic use of teachers as sexual lechers. In this movie we can see that men are people too. (Hello!)

I should mention that the screenplay by Kristine Johnson and Davia Nelson was carefully crafted to showcase the story dramatically, and to warn you that this is a tear jerker. It starts a little slow, and seems a touch old fashioned, but stay with it: it's a beautiful movie, one the best I've ever seen.

(Note: Over 500 of my movie reviews are now available in my book "Cut to the Chaise Lounge or I Can't Believe I Swallowed the Remote!" Get it at Amazon!)


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