Seventeen year old Jason Slocumb, Jr. - Igby to most that know him - comes from east coast old money, the second son of self-absorbed and controlling Mimi Slocumb and medically-diagnosed schizophrenic Jason Slocum, Sr., the latter who has for several years been institutionalized in a Maryland psychiatric facility. While Igby's economics-studying Columbia-attending older brother Ollie Slocum has embraced and aspires to continue their wealthy life, Igby has rebelled against it, considering his brother a fascist (although he could soften that label to Republican). Because of Jason's situation, Mimi has largely left the role of male role model for Ollie and Igby to their godfather, D.H. Banes. Igby's rebellion has led to him being kicked out of one prep school after another, the latest, a military academy, from which Igby escapes before he can graduate. As such, Mimi and D.H. arrange for Igby to live in New York with Ollie for the summer while working for D.H. renovating some of his ... Written by
In the Empire Diner, Igby is in the same position in his seat and plays with his straw the same way throughout the entire scene except in the one far shot where his glass is pushed aside and out of reach (from his changed position). The salt and pepper shakers also move around (in some shots they are closer to Sookie, in others, to Igby) and seem to be absent in some shots. See more »
Why couldn't she have been a fucking smoker.
This has nothing to do with her being in such wonderful shape. The cause of our trouble was our inability to come up with a drug short of paint thinner, that would be at least somewhat novel to her system. She's built up a tolerance to everything.
A tolerance? She's taking her fucking afternoon nap.
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Very interesting debut by Burr Steers with uniformly great performances
This film doesn't make us feel for any of its characters, but it's so full of memorable vignettes, it's hard to forget about this. It's dark and depressing but at the same time consistent in tone and so full of wonderful performances it just sticks in your memory.
Igby's life consists of one disappointment after another. We soon meet his ruinantly self-absorbed mother (Susan Sarandon), who treats her boys like full-grown adults. 'I call her Mimi because 'Heinous One' would be a bit cumbersome,' Igby remarks. And there's his schizophrenic dad (Bill Pullman) who has long since been confined to a 'home for the befuddled'. Igby's and his preppy brother Oliver (Ryan Phillippe) have nothing but contempt for their mother. When Igby has just been kicked out - again - of his latest prep school, he is sent to a military academy by his mother, but he swipes her credit card and absconds to an airport hotel in the Midwest. Soon he is dishonorably discharged and sucks his way in by his mother's new wealthy friend D. H. Baines, wonderfully played by Jeff Goldblum, who almost seems to play himself.
Two women play a crucial role in his life, both of them he meets at a cocktail party at "D.H."'s lavish Hamptons home. There's Rachel, a memorable role by Amanda Peet, truly astonishing. I knew her face, but I cannot recall other roles of her. And there is Sookie Sapperstein (Claire Danes), a waitress at the party and couple of years older college student, with whom Igby falls in love. But his brother is becoming a romantic rival or Sookie and when Igby crashes in D.H's fancy Manhattan apartment, in which Rachel is taking residence, he becomes entangled in an ever more downward spiral.
First-time director Burr Steers, who also scripted, filled this one with some very smart, observative and acidic dialog, and Kiera Culkin shows he can carry a film with a very good performance. And where has he been the last four years? Since this one he hasn't appeared in any other films. On the IMDb message boards there are some hilarious speculations about how he is supposedly "on weed". I don't know about that. He's probably going through some rough times, but I hope he'll be back soon. It would be a shame to lose an actor like him.
Camera Obscura --- 8/10
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