17-year-old rich kid Igby Slocumb is a rebel with a cause: to break free from his pill-popping mother, his schizophrenic dad and his fascist brother. Seduced by sexy older women and subverted by family and friends, the ever-resilient, witty and inventive Igby is determined to keep up-no matter what goes down.
 

4
An outstanding debut from writer/director Burr Steers.

I must admitt I shuddered a bit when I realised that the writer/director of Igby Goes Down was Burr Steers, one of the writers of How To Lose a Guy in 10 Days. But in fact the two films couldn\'t be more different. Igby, Kieran Culkin, is a 17 year-old anarchist from the social elite of New York. His mother Mimi, Susan Sarandon, whom he calls the \'Heinous One\' is a cold, clever woman who\'s totally dispassionate about her husband, Bill Pullman, falling into a schizophrenic heap. Brother Oliver, Ryan Phillippe tends to bear the burdens of family life with a stoic ennui. After numerous expulsions from elite schools Igby finds refuge in an apartment his godfather DH, Jeff Goldblum, provides, which is actually the rendezvous point for DH and his junkie mistress Rachel, Amanda Peet. And this is where Igby earns a little bit on the side delivering drugs for Rachel\'s friend Russel, Jared Harris, and where he thinks he\'s found a soulmate in college drop-out Sookie, Claire Danes.

Burr Steers is the step-nephew of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and the nephew of Gore Vidal. He knows very well the bleak, cynical and corrupt world he writes about. But who would have suspected that beneath that cynical veneer is a compassion for Igby and Oliver and a grudging respect for the Heinous One. The performances in this film are tops - Claire Danes is extraordinarily good, as is Jeff Goldblum. This is an odd little film that nearly makes us care about the demise of the very very rich, because it\'s been so well written, constructed and performed. This cry of anguish from a malcontent from the upper crust is reminiscent of Salinger\'s Holden Caulfield. It\'s a surprisingly effective debut from Steers.