Igby Goes Down
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Truth be told, before even reviewing Igby, it’s probably worth mentioning, that no matter how I feel or describe this film, this review will never be as detailed as some of the reviews I’ve already read on this website. Since beginning writing reviews on imdb, I’ve never seen a film produce so many detailed, yet slightly obscure reviews. Ultimately, this is a sign of how good this film really is.
In “Igby Goes Down”, Kieran Culkin proves once and for all that he’s the more talented of the Culkin family with a powerful performance as Igby Slocumb, the youngest of two brothers to the hideously dysfunctional Slocumb family. Igby’s mother (played with passion by Susan Sarandon) is a bit of a cruel, heartless drug addict who has been diagnosed with cancer. Igby’s father (played by Bill Pullman) has by the time of this film slowly gone insane (as shown by cleverly placed flashbacks) and is now in a mental ward in what seems like an almost comatose state. With these parents, it is little wonder then that as well as the disruptive Igby, the family has produced his elder brother Ollie (played by Ryan Phillippe in a way reminicent of his performance in “Cruel Intentions”) who is a success obsessed college student, who unlike Igby has at least some small link to his mother. With a family like this, it is no surprise really that Igby spends a vast majority of his time attempting to escape from the family, aiming eventually to make it to California (where he can finally see some sun).
“Igby Goes Down” is a very cleverly written film, with a stunning soundtrack and quality cinematography. It reminds us that it doesn’t always matter how rich or poor the family is, sometimes we just need to escape them.
As well as the main family, the acting is superb. Claire Danes as Sookie the love interest is excellent, as is Jeff Goldbloom as D.H. Igby’s rich Godfather (or is he more to Igby perhaps than meets the eye? Queue a surprising throw away line towards the end). Other actors in the film also excel, but ultimately the film belongs to Kieran Culkin.
“Igby Goes Down” is a thought provoking work of genius with all round excellence in all departments. It might not win any awards (possibly the wrong time of year to really be in with an Oscars chance?), but this film provokes us to think in a way that not many films seem to do in recent years. Well worthy of watching, and well worthy of any praise it might receive.