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
Despite talk throughout the film of a passage of time, the coming of summer, the advent of fall, and the approach of Christmas, the entire film was clearly shot over a very short time in the fall. In the scene outside the campus where DH tells Igby his mother is having a mastectomy, for example, DH talks about staying with him "this summer," yet there are dead leaves on the ground and bare trees. 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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There's no question aspects of this are quite brutal. But the theme of the story dictates they would be so.
Igby Goes Down is about a kid in nowhere's land. He doesn't know where he's going in life and responds to this by being a rebel in everything. Add to this his parental instability with a schizophrenic father and a tyrannical mother and you can understand why he'd be a little mixed up.
In many ways it is a coming of age story, but in others it is too dark to be that. Indeed there is an ambivalence of themes with hope and despair featured in equal measure.
As Igby, Kieran Culkin excels. He's outstanding, the best thing in the movie - which given the quality of his peers, such as a sinister and agenda-ridden Jeff Goldblum, a monstrous and hierarchial Susan Sarandon, a confused and tortured Bill Pullman and a squeaky clean upstart in Ryan Phillippe, is no mean feat at all.
Performances are uniformly excellent, the story involving, and the themes well explored.
Well done all round.
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