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Running With Scissors

Drama movie directed by Ryan Murphy

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If You Think Your Family Is Nuts...

  • Apr 22, 2007
Rating:
+4
...they'll seem like the poster children for mental and emotional health, after watching this film!

Augusten Burroughs (Joseph Cross) grows up in a household with his mother, Deirdre (Annette Benning), who has severe mental stability issues. I am no psychiatrist so I am not even going to try to label her. He also has an alcoholic father, Norman (Alec Baldwin), who seems to have little to no interest in his son. In fact, because of his absence, I thought at the beginning of the film Augusten's parents were already divorced.

Deirdre is more dependant on her son than he is on her, he seems to care for her, and she seems to lean on him. She is an aspiring poet who lets her son skip school to do her hair and plan parties. The mother and father fight right in front of Augusten without a thought to him or his feelings. After a rather explosive fight they seek marital counseling and that's our introduction to the colorful Dr. Finch (Brian Cox). Through a series of events Augusten ends up living with the Finch's and we are wrapped up in another household filled with the emotionally and mentally unstable.

Despite his surroundings, you watch Augusten grow up to be relatively 'normal'. In his need for stability and normalcy, he finds the unlikely hero in the form of the long suffering housewife of Dr.Finch, Agnes (Jill Clayburgh). She really touched me in the way she cared for Augusten.

With all the craziness that occurs in this film, it should be a lot darker than it is. Surprisingly this movie makes humor out of situations that should horrify. I laughed more than I cried; I giggled more than I gasped. In real life, none of the situations portrayed would be amusing, I don't think I could have watched the film without the humor; it would have been too depressing. The acting in this movie, by everyone, was absolutely excellent, real and flawless. The movie reminded me a bit of The Royal Tenenbaums, the crazy, surreal family.

This was a good movie and I really enjoyed it, but it did make me think people should have to pass a series of tests in order to procreate and raise children, yikes!

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More Running With Scissors reviews
review by . August 17, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
* out of ****    At the age of twelve, Augusten Burroughs found himself the sole child in the middle of a rough marriage. His father (Alec Baldwin) - an alcoholic - and his mother Deidre (Annette Bening) - a psychotic - fought constantly and eventually their kitchen-bound warfare of both the physical and emotional variety got so intense that Burroughs' mother sent him to live with her psychiatrist, Dr. Finch (Brian Cox); a good doctor, according to Deidre. The Finch house is …
review by . July 23, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
15 - 116mins - Comedy/Drama - 2nd February 2007    Strange one this. Augusten Burroughs (Joseph Cross) was born into a dysfunctional family. With his father (Alec Baldwin) an alcoholic and a mentally unstable mother (Annette Bening) who lives in a delusional world where her belief that she has what it takes to become the world's greatest poet is only surpassed by her attempts to achieve her goal, it's unsurprising to find that his life has been impacted greatly from a young age.   …
review by . February 08, 2007
For those legions of us who delighted in Augusten Burroughs' sharing of his exceedingly warped childhood in the memoir RUNNING WITH SCISSORS, this book to film transformation will be revelatory and extremely satisfying. Until watching the DVD (not expecting a book of this nature could be successfully molded into a film, much less be a platform for Annette Bening to garner Golden Globe accolades for a role like Deirdre), it is impossible to believe that such a fine book could and is an even better …
review by . April 15, 2007
posted in Movie Hype
Like others, I decided to see "Running With Scissors" based on a trailer I saw that presented it as a dark, eccentric comedy. The cast looked more than promising, and I love quirky movies, but I shut this one off after watching an hour of venom-filled yelling and swearing. It's very unusual for me to not watch a film in its entirety, but I felt I was completely wasting my time and turned it off. I didn't like any of the characters, although I felt some degree of sympathy for the boy (not enough …
review by . February 22, 2007
"Running With Scissors"    A Twisted Childhood      Amos Lassen and Cinema Pride    "Running With Scissors" has been a greatly anticipated movie due to the success of the book and it doesn't disappoint. It is a fairly sick and twisted story of a young boy who is caught up in the mental abuse, drug use and mental illness in his family. Because it is a true story, it is sometimes not easy to watch but it is the story of survival …
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Cherise Everhard ()
Ranked #233
Member Since: Dec 19, 2008
Last Login: Apr 27, 2012 01:52 PM UTC
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Annette Bening is the stand-out highlight in this dysfunctional "family" comedy based on the bestselling memoir by Augusten Burroughs. Although fans of the book may be slightly disappointed with the film's uneven and somewhat campy rendition of Burroughs' twisted adolescence in the 1970s, there's plenty of pleasure to be found in the work of an excellent cast led by Bening, who gives a subtle dare-to-hate-me performance as Burroughs' mother Diedre, a would-be poet who's so aloof about her teenage son Augusten (played by fresh-faced newcomer Joseph Cross, fromFlags of Our Fathers) that she allows him to be legally adopted into the eccentric family of her psychiatrist, Dr. Finch (Brian Cox). As the half-crazed Finch overmedicates Diedre into a haze of semi-conscious madness, he also turns Augusten's life upside down while his wife (Jill Clayburgh) and daughters (Gwyneth Paltrow, Evan Rachel Wood) indulge their own eccentricities and Augusten enters into an intimate relationship with one of Finch's adopted patients (played by Joseph Fiennes).

As adapted and directed by Nip/Tuck creator Ryan Murphy, Running with Scissors lacks the singular voice of Burroughs' dryly comedic first-person narrative, but even as the film struggles to find a consistent tone, it's so full of wacky behavior that you can't help laughing. It's a messy, patchwork quilt of a movie, blessed by authentically garish '70s production design and a soundtrack of familiar '70s hits. In ...

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Details

Director: Ryan Murphy
Genre: Drama
DVD Release Date: February 6, 2007
Runtime: 116 minutes
Studio: Sony Pictures
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