Running with Scissors

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment Released 2006


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Movie Summary

Ryan Murphy (I)
Running with Scissors in a comedic drama directed by Ryan Murphy. The story chronicles the life of Augusten Burroughs (Joseph Cross) whose alcoholic father Norman (Alec Baldwin) and bipolar mother Deirdre (Annette Bening) are so caught up in their own problems that they have largely given up on their son, Augusten. When Augusten reaches the age of 12, his mother decides to leave him in the care of her eccentric therapist Dr. Finch (Brian Cox). Living in a kind of Victorian squalor, Augusten finds himself in the company of Dr. Finch's chronically tense daughter (Gwyneth Paltrow), forbearing wife Agnes (Jill Clayburgh) and relatively normal daughter Natalie (Even Rachel Wood). Filling out this unconventional family is 33-year-old adopted son and former patient Neil Bookman (Joseph Fiennes). While Augusten's mother periodically enters and exits his life, Augusten skips school, writes in his journal and learns about love through an erratic sexual relationship with Neil. As Augusten struggles to find himself and make sense of the world, the people around him pursue their own selfish interests. Based on the true life story of Augusten Burroughs, this captivating drama gives new meaning to the words "dysfunctional family."moreless


Metacritic Score

  • 70

    The New York Times A.O. Scott

    Ms. Bening's precise, pitiless tracing of her character's decline from feisty defiance to pathetic, overmedicated self-delusion gives the film an emotional weight it might not othe...

  • 50

    Variety Justin Chang

    Writer-director Ryan Murphy strives mightily to capture the bracing hilarity, pathos and surreal incident of Burroughs' bestselling memoir, but this rudderless adaptation never get...

  • 40

    Los Angeles Times Carina Chocano

    Murphy, who created the creepy, funny, lunatic "Nip/Tuck," is a master of mordant and macabre camp. But here he loses his teeth, seeming to lack any ironic distance from material t...

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Comedy, Drama