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Running With Scissors

Running With Scissors

4.3 8
Director: Ryan Murphy

Cast: Annette Bening, Brian Cox, Joseph Fiennes


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Screen newcomer Joseph Cross portrays Augusten Burroughs in director Ryan Murphy's film adaptation of author Burroughs' best-selling personal memoir of the same name. A child of the 1970s whose alcoholic father, Norman (Alec Baldwin), and delusional, unpublished poet mother,


Screen newcomer Joseph Cross portrays Augusten Burroughs in director Ryan Murphy's film adaptation of author Burroughs' best-selling personal memoir of the same name. A child of the 1970s whose alcoholic father, Norman (Alec Baldwin), and delusional, unpublished poet mother, Deirdre (Annette Bening), serve as the dictionary definition of the word "dysfunctional," Augusten is sent by his mother to live with her eccentric psychiatrist, Dr. Finch (Brian Cox), when his disagreeable parents ultimately decide to terminate their turbulent marriage. Suddenly thrust into an environment that is as unfamiliar as it is unpredictable, young Augusten forms a curious relationship with the doctor's two whimsical daughters while learning to adapt and survive under even the most unusual of circumstances.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
This unusual film about the bizarre adolescence of writer Augusten Burroughs, chronicled in his bestselling memoir of the same title, doesn’t skimp on surrealistic excesses. But don’t let that scare you: Running with Scissorshas enough humor and pathos for three movies, in addition to a slew of superb performances. Writer-director Ryan Murphy captures the deadpan tone of Burroughs’s saga of his wannabe-poet mother, the supremely narcissistic Deirdre (Annette Bening), and the new family she fobs Augusten (Joseph Cross) off on. Headed by the brilliant but eccentric therapist Dr. Finch (Brian Cox), the strange clan includes Finch’s wife, Agnes (Jill Clayburgh), a placid older daughter, Hope (Gwyneth Paltrow), and a rebellious younger daughter, Natalie (Evan Rachel Wood). And then there’s Finch’s 30-something adopted son, Neil Bookman (Joseph Fiennes), a dark, brooding character with whom Augusten has a sexual relationship. As complicated as all this may sound, Murphy actually streamlines Burroughs's memoir quite successfully, condensing various episodes and sanitizing some of the more graphic passages. The film doesn’t really present a cohesive, linear story, but its crazy-quilt quality is perfectly in keeping with the absurdist tone and subject matter. Bening and Cox devise dynamic characterizations, while veteran Clayburgh also shines, particularly in her genuinely moving final scene with Cross. Although Running with Scissorsoccasionally displays too much ironic self-awareness, it’s an inventive romp that will delight viewers who crave films with offbeat sensibilities.

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Sony Pictures
Region Code:
[Wide Screen]
[Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround]

Special Features

"Inside Outsiders" cast featurette; "A Personal Memoir by Augusten Burroughs" ; "Creating the Cuckoo's Nest" set design documentary

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Annette Bening Deirdre Burroughs
Brian Cox Dr. Finch
Joseph Fiennes Neil Bookman
Evan Rachel Wood Natalie Finch
Alec Baldwin Norman Burroughs
Jill Clayburgh Agnes Finch
Joseph Cross Augusten Burroughs
Gwyneth Paltrow Hope Finch
Gabrielle Union Dorothy
Kristin Chenoweth Fern Stewart
Patrick Wilson Michael Shephard
Colleen Camp Joan
Dagmara Dominczyk Suzanne
Jack Kaeding Six-Year-Old Augusten Burroughs
Gabriel Guedj Poo
Nancy Ellen Cassaro Christy (1978 Poetry Club)
Omid Abtahi Restaurant Manager
Julie Remala Restaurant Waitress
Will Carter Officer Button
Bonnie Weis Cocktail Waitress
Dakotah Masset Waitress
Marianne Muellerleile Nurse

Technical Credits
Ryan Murphy Director,Producer,Screenwriter
Christopher Baffa Cinematographer
P.J. Bloom Musical Direction/Supervision
Augusten Burroughs Co-producer
Dirk Wallace Craft Asst. Director
Christopher Duskin Camera Operator
Lou Eyrich Costumes/Costume Designer
Mali Finn Casting
Lorin Flemming Art Director
Stephanie Fowler Makeup
Frank Gaeta Sound/Sound Designer
Dede Gardner Producer
Marc A. Gilmartin Sound/Sound Designer
Brad Grey Producer
Zoe Hay Makeup
James S. Levine Score Composer
Brad Pitt Producer
Steven Samuels Executive Producer
Richard Sherman Production Designer
Byron Smith Editor
Bonnie Weis Co-producer

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Running with Scissors
1. Chapter 1
2. Chapter 2
3. Chapter 3
4. Chapter 4
5. Chapter 5
6. Chapter 6
7. Chapter 7
8. Chapter 8
9. Chapter 9
10. Chapter 10
11. Chapter 11
12. Chapter 12
13. Chapter 13
14. Chapter 14
15. Chapter 15
16. Chapter 16


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Running With Scissors 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
This movie is so bad, my family was only able to watch 30 minutes! A complete waste of time and money - if you're thinking of buying it. Annette Benning is so pathetic, it's just an awful movie!
Guest More than 1 year ago
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 movie. Kudos to writer, director, producer Ryan Murphy for taking a one-person standup comedy book and mold it into a riotously funny and at the same time deeply moving story about the effects of childhood on our personality development. Augusten (first as 6-year old Jack Kaeding and later as brilliantly transformed by the very talented Joseph Cross) is a conflicted child whose mother Deirdre (Annette Bening in an Oscar deserving performance) is a bipolar poet wannabe with delusions of grandeur who drives her alcoholic husband Norman (Alec Baldwin) out of the house, preferring instead to form a lesbian relationship with Fern (Kristin Chenoweth) from one of her wildly dysfunctional poetry groups. Deirdre's psychiatrist Dr. Finch (the always superb Brian Cox) plies her with pills and ultimately is the one to whom Deirdre gives Augusten up for adoption. Finch lives in a grotesque house, but no more absurd than his mad family: his wife Agnes (Jill Clayburgh) eats cat kibbles and appears to be quite mad Hope (Gwyneth Paltrow) is possessed by God and follows holy commands to bury the cat Freud Natalie (Evan Rachel Wood) whose perception of her wild family leads her to be Augusten's ally and Neil Bookman (Joseph Fiennes) a strange dark man who lives in a shed and introduces Augusten to his true sexual identity. In this madhouse Augusten manipulates his way toward understanding adults and free thought, savoring his unusual experiences as fodder for later use, and getting a handle on his own dreams and ultimate escape from his twisted childhood to run off to New York and become a writer! The characters, no matter how bizarre and wacky, each have redeeming values, much to the finessing by Ryan Murphy of Augusten Burroughs' memoir. What could have been a raucous mess of a film Murphy, with Burroughs' blessing, transformed into a sensitive statement about relationships, family, extended family, and the degree that harsh reality can actually supplant the growth of an artist. The cast is uniformly splendid - Annette Bening is amazingly three-dimensional - and the choice of Joseph Cross as Augusten is completely on target for this re-thinking of an impossible book to film. Highly recommended, but do read the book, too! Grady Harp
nazareth62 More than 1 year ago
I recently purchased this movie and it has become 1 of my favorite films! It stands as a testament to what we can survive and it exposes the ravages of mental illness at the same time! This film will make you laugh hysterically and seconds later you'll be crying but in the end it's a reminder of just what human beings are capable of getting through! Highly recommended! You'll never hear the words "I want you to make me Hamburger Helper" the same way again!
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