Chapter 2 - Plot

Igby Goes Down

Major Dramatic Question: Will Igby cling to his sanity? (This is one of those abstract, internal goals.)

Inciting Incident – Igby goes AWOL from military school. (It happens 13 minutes in.)

Plot point 1 – Instead of heading to his new school as planned, Igby hides out in New York City. (It happens 29 minutes in.)

Midpoint – Sookie shows Igby tenderness, tending to his bloody nose, then kissing him, which opens Igby up a bit. (It happens 44 minutes in, an early midpoint because the movie is only 95 minutes.)

Plot point 2 – It’s really a quadruple whammy of bad things—Rachel ODs, godfather DH punches Igby out, the cancer comes back for mom, Sookie reveals she’s sleeping with Igby’s brother Ollie. (This series of events culminates 71 minutes in.)

Climax – Igby beats the body of his dead mother as he weeps, hating her and also forgiving her. (It happens 87 minutes in.)

Interesting feature: The movie opens with a flash-forward—the brothers trying to kill their mother—a scene that will be returned to at the end of the movie, which is where it occurs chronologically. The meaning of the scene is not clear when we first see it. Is it wishful thinking on Igby’s part or are these brothers just incredibly sick? Turns out, neither is the right answer. The scene sets the movie’s darkly comic tone, a tone that will modulate into something gentler when we return to it.

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