Igby Goes Down (R)
Genre : Comedy, Drama
Tagline : Insanity is relative.
Starring : Kieran Culkin, Claire Danes, Jeff Goldblum, Susan Sarandon
Running Time : 98 Minutes
Director : Burr Steers
Producer : Helen Beadleston, Fran Lucci, David Rubin
I love this movie. It is a dark comedy so there is no laughing but it is so dark that you have to laugh at how uncomfortable you are looking into the lives of these people. There really isn’t one completely likable character in this movie, except maybe Igby’s (Kieran Culkin) insane father (Bill Pullman). But this Catcher in the Rye type story is great and gives you a glimpse into a world that is a little Jerry Springer but with the extremely wealthy. It shows that even tons of “old money” can’t buy your way out of trashy family members, embarrassing behavior, or bad choices. And let’s face it, reality TV wouldn’t be so popular if we didn’t enjoy drama brought on by bad choices. 🙂
In the first scene of the movie we see Igby and his brother Oliver (Ryan Phillippe) killing their mother (Susan Sarandon) by first poisoning her and when that doesn’t work putting a plastic bag over her head and smothering her. This sets the whole tone for the movie. The lack of emotion and compassion shown by all the characters is made evident in that opening scene. Igby is a misanthropic teen who hates his extremely wealthy family and all the hypocrisy they bring to his life. The movie is a glimpse into Igby’s life. It shows some of his childhood, some of his upbringing, a lot of him behaving badly, and a lot of him being treated badly. Igby is definitely a snotty rich kid and he is punished regularly by those around him.
It is almost sad to me to watch this boy look for someone to love him but I think it is a very honest account of being a teenager. That idea of wanting to escape. The feeling that the world is pressing down on you. The longing to find a place where you fit in and where people respect you. This movie is on my “top of” list. Kieran Culkin plays this character so well. The cast is packed with stars. Susan Sarandon, Kieran Culkin, Ryan Phillippe, Claire Danes, Jeff Goldblum, Amanda Peet, Bill Pullman, and Cynthia Nixon jut to name a few. The story, the cast, the emotion, and the acting all make this a great movie. Please check this film out if you enjoy character development movies or movies with an authentic peek at life. It will be well worth your time.
Favorite Scene : I have two. The first is the opening scene with Susan Sarandon. It starts off with a bang! Poetically, I love the scene where Igby runs from Sookie’s building and Don’t Panic by Coldplay starts playing. In fact, it is one of my favorite scenes from a movie ever.
Favorite Quote : “If heaven is such a wonderful place then what was the big fucking sacrifice?”
Awards : Best Young Actor Critics Award Kieran Culkin-Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards; Best Screenplay, Best Supporting Actress Susan Sarandon, Youth in Film Kieran Culkin-Las Vegas Film Critics Society Awards; Excellence in Film-National Board of Review, Best Actor in a Comedy or Musical Motion Picture-Satellite Awards, Best First Time Director-US Comedy Arts Festival
Fun Facts :
- In Finland the movie is called Mieletön Matka which translates to An Insane Travel. In Poland it is Ucieczka do Zycia which translates to Escape From Life.
- The movie is film in New York City in Central Park, Soho, Washington Square Park, and Greenwich Village.
- It was filmed in under 2 months.
- Writer/director Burr Steers originally intended to make this a novel, not a movie.
- Amanda Peet said she would have been willing to play any character just to be a part of this movie.
- The reason Ryan Phillippe said he did this movie was the end scene with Oliver and Igby. He liked the complication between the fraternal relationship.
- The movie was nominated for 2 Golden Globes. One for Best Actor in a Comedy or Musical Motion Picture Kieran Culkin and one for Best Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture Susan Saradon.
- Kieran’s younger brother Rory played him as a kid.
- This was Burr Steer’s directorial debut.