Culkin is a great young player with a look and resources evoking both Hoffman and Robert Downey. He's naturalistic and great to watch. Smart, funny, urbane writing by first time director Steers is never "on the nose". Yet underneath the evasive, sarcastic stripped down dialogue he pulls hard hitting emotions from his ensemble. Not a false or wasted scene and more than a few really powerful ones. Every player is at the top of their game, from Kieran Culkin to Amanda Peet, Jeff Goldblum to Susan Sarandon, Bill Pullman to Claire Danes to Ryan Phillippe. They're obviously guided by a director who knows how to work with an ensemble to get an overall tone.
Igby is the anti Ferris Beuhler - a smart wanna be who's wise mouth and attitude usually piss off those around him - his mother, his brother, his godfather. Torn between those who don't get him and those who do (Peet, Danes), Igby paints all his relationships with the same sarcastic brush, his vulnerability only busting out when he's pushed to the limit. Culkin's perfomance is not to be missed. The key women, Sarandon, Peet and Danes all play fully formed characters. Goldblum is perfect for his role, his usual facile acting style well suited to the South Hampton prince he plays; his best turn in years.
Seers has style and flow, and his final cut is aided by the excellent music choices he and his music supervisor, Nick Harcourt arrived at. Cameron Crowe couldn't do better. The Igby soundtrack is tres alt moderne and every cut is great.
Warning: Actors are blocked (brilliantly) for wide screen format. So this film will suffer from TV / video screen ratios as the Graduate does. Either go see it in the theater NOW or wait for letterbox!