The story of how a boy was abandoned by his mother and how he, later, abandoned her. The year hell be 14, the parents of Augusten Burroughs (1965- ) divorce, and his mother, who thinks of herself as a fine poet on the verge of fame, delivers him to the eccentric household of her psychiatrist, Dr. Finch. During that year, Augusten avoids school, keeps a journal, and practices cosmetology. His mothers mental illness worsens, he takes an older lover, he finds friendship with Finchs younger daughter, and hes the occasional recipient of gifts from an unlikely benefactor. Can he survive to come of age?
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Running with Scissors wasn't what I thought it would be. Although itwas disappointing at times the hilarious dialogue made up for it.Augusten Burroghs is sent to live with the crazy Finch family where hesoon learns to grow up and take chances. The movie is an emotionalroller-coaster going from good to bad in seconds. Most of it comes fromDiedre, Augustens crazy mother who is many times drugged by Dr.Finchand taken to a motel. Many scenes just make you laugh because they'reso sad, for instance In a scene where Augusten and Natalie are making askylight over the kitchen. You bounce from the two, to Diedre, to NeilBookman where they all scream simultaneously which makes the sceneunforgettable. Readers of the book will either be disappointed or willlove it. I for one thought it was a 50/50, it wasn't as strong as Ithought it would be but it was still a great film.I give it a ten because I'm still laughing over the movie..
Extremely good cast and acting, but of course not as good as the book. Definitely not a comedy as some have described, and is a slow goer.
My husband and I saw this film today. After seeing the trailer itlooked interesting and quite entertaining. We noticed after about 15minutes into the film that one couple just down from us got up andleft. Another couple followed shortly afterward. There were only about2 dozen people who were watching the film and most left at the endshaking their heads and saying things like "well that was not at allwhat I expected" I am disappointed" and "We will have to tell so-so itisn't very good." Gwyneth Paltrow was not really much of a character tobe able to judge her acting ability. I did love Evan Rachel Ward, JillClayburgh and Joseph Cross as Natalie, Agnus and Augusten(respectively). There was far more cursing than I thought was neededand the feel of the film was just...well it made me thankful for thechildhood I had though it was not a bed of roses - at least I didn'tgrow up with the Finches. Not only was the plot depressing but franklyI felt they could have wrapped it up in about 1/3 to 1/2 the time andit would have been less painful. Agnus and her love for Augusten as anadopted son along with the great soundtrack (which brought backchildhood memories of the 1970s and early 1980s for me) were the ONLYredeeming qualities of the film. You definitely feel sorry for the realAugusten after this. Save your money and check the book out from yourlocal library and maybe buy the soundtrack. Unless you have 2 hours youwish to waste away in a film full of foul mouthed psychotics, then Iwould not see this film. And if you do, stay long enough into thecredits to read what happened to everyone. At least then you don'tleave thinking it was entirely depressing even though it is quitedepressing.
I don't know all the reason but I throughly enjoyed this movie a lot. I did not grow up with a disfunctional family nor did I have anyone with emotional problems or drug problems in my family. For some reason this movie touched me. Annette Bening is amazing in her roll. She is an amazing actress. Even better then when she was in An American Beauty.
I just finished watching this movie, and I'm a little bit confused about it. In some ways it is inspirational, how that someone who went through so much can actually still come out alive and even in some ways for the better. On the other hand, after reading the book as well, I'd have to say that this "watered down" version leaves the viewer cold; read the book. I admire the bravery of Augusten for exposing all of his dirty laundry for us all to see, and I suspect that a lot of us can relate to it. Maybe we didn't all have a psycho mom, an alcoholic dad, or a lover 20 years older than we were, but we all have our "things", don't we? Here they are exaggerated for us, and ours look smaller for it. Thanks Augusten. If you made it then I'm sure anyone can.
While this review won't be very detailed, I think the point will be quite clear: read the book, skip the movie.
I just watched this film and I have to say I'm rather stunned. I'm not sure what to say about it. Good or bad seems kinda irrelevant. But powerful, it is. On one hand, it a black comedy about human relationship dysfunction. On the other, its a vicious parody on the mental health arena. (ok, we'll need a few more hands here...) On the third hand, its completely insane, and one scene is more insane than the preceding one. We're talking out of the box lunacy here, but yet, there ARE people this nuts in the world. In fact, the world is full of them! Ultimately, I think I have to give this a five star rating because it really had riveted me for the entire 2-plus hours. I think the acting was quite excellent by all characters: most were convincingly miserable. I can understand some of the comments expressed here about the film being out of balance and having over-the-top despicable characters (and yes, Annette Benning as the mother plays a totally self-absorbed nut case who can't see past her own narcisistic ego needs at the expense of all others), there is something very deep that was being brought out in the film: it has something to do with the basic human need for love and validation by those who are 'supposed to' love us: family, spouse, etc. However, like many dysfunctional families, we as individuals sometimes do not get that validation and all the characters in this film show the pain of that in one form or another. I gotta say, Jill Clayburgh as Agnes reveals a noble character eventually, near the films end that is quite touching and pretty surprising. The film deals with horrific relationship issues that are all shrouded in comedy, yet one can't really laugh without restraint because we know that we are talking about real life here, and the pain these people epitomize is an all too real reality. For the average person, this movie is sure to hit close to home on some level. So, not a feel good movie, although it's not without it's redeeming values. The son and main character, Augusten eventually extricates himself out of his emotional dependence on his mother and breaks her manipulative power over him, thus freeing himself out of his prison. Lots to contemplate here behind the comedy. I think it's a brave piece of storytelling. Some of it sickening, yet it is what life is made of: the predators and the exploited, who in turn become predators. But not all, and perhaps that's the film's most redeeming realization.
This is the story of a young man whose mother spirals into seriousmental illness, with some major help from her corrupt therapist. Shelets the therapist adopt her son. The therapist's family is not themodel of sanity.I take issue with the labeling of this film as comedy, unless theyspecify that it's a very black comedy. This is a film about mentalpain, and the failure of our culture to deal with it properly. I myselfknow personally two "therapists" (Ph.d's of course) who are theequivalent of Dr. Fisk. Not identical or similar, but the moral andintellectual (or lack thereof) equivalent. The level of exaggeration inthis film is not great, because the reality is already bizarre enough.What makes this film worth seeing is the caliber of the acting. Theylined up some top guns here, and the results are dazzlingly depressing.Annette Benning has the neurotic, self-absorbed art mother down to a T.Augusten is well cast; charming, vulnerable and clueless. GwynethPaltrow has a small part but she packs a lot into those few moments.Natalie is so right on I thought at first they had found some Gothstreet chick to play the part -- but she is actually a professionalactress. Alec Baldwin as the macho ex-husband with no interestwhatsoever in all this whining b.s. is also well done. And so forth.So what you have here is a sort of Series of Unfortunate and EntirelyAvoidable Events, without the humor, playing at scream level, andworthy of an Oscar. If that's your mix, have at it.
A peculiar comedy, a lot of bizarre characters, doing crazy stuff. It'sa story about a boy's pullulation, and people around him are both havetheir own weird problems, I doubt the existence of these people in thereal world, so I'm very willing to watch them on screen.I think this film is OK, at least it's a pleasure to watch it, I likethe cast, Annette Bening is amazing, Joseph Cross is so cute andGwyneth Paltrow is ridiculously impressive to play the older daughterof Dr. Finch. Others are all well-performed, and I'm quite impressed byJill Clayburgh's performance (ps. she used to be Al Pacino's lover! andhas been gone from the big screen for quite a long time), cheers forher comeback! Sometimes constipation can explain everything, really asimple answer, it causes all the bad tempers and crazy behavior, justneed someone to point out that, problem solved. The world is a messbecause no one dare to point out the truth.And if you love someone who does not deserve you love, but you have tobecause he or she is all you have in your life. However only if you canchange your life completely, or you have no other choice but stick tothe status quo, confused and unsatisfied. Pathetic people are all overthe world, trapped in a bitter situation, and the only person who cantaste the bitterness is himself or herself. That's the pessimisticprofile of human beings. Then everyone needs a high ceiling, to destroythe shackle and release the potential, that's the most important thingthis film intends to express.All in all this is a unique film, I haven't read the novel, but onething is sure, the film is not up to the level of its original novel,and we all suppose it could be well much better!
"Running With Scissors" is a film that perfectly demonstrates thedifference between what's important to one person, and what's importantto everybody else. You can tell somebody that your cat died, and theywill feel sorry for you, but they won't feel your pain. And theyprobably won't feel that your cat's death was a time in your life thatwould be a well rounded exploration into your character or have anyspecific thematic resonance.Somebody should have explained this to Augusten Burroughs before hedecided to turn his memoir (which, for all I know, is a ripping read)into a star-studded feature film. His young life, the sole subjectmatter, was probably interesting at the time, but on screen, it goesexactly like this: Young Augusten (Joseph Cross) has a mentallyunbalanced mother (Annette Bening) and a hopeless alcoholic father(Alec Baldwin). The dad gets sick of it, and leaves. The mother, whofancies herself a brilliant poet, sees a shrink (Brian Cox) about allthe grievances she has with her life-long oppression. His solution isto, ultimately, adopt Augusten and act as both his father andpsychiatrist in a home only fractionally worse than the one itreplaces. Everyone in this home is ludicrously damaged in the head.It's strange, and at times it's a little sad, but still, no one reallywants to hear all about your dead cat.As it happens, a cat does die in this movie. Not to give too much away,or give the wrong idea, but the pet dies as a result of a sorelydysfunctional household that, despite the profession of its patriarch,is entirely tolerant of mental illness. Yes, that's a shame. But thisis the film's only punch line. A dead cat, a few broken homes, ademolished kitchen ceiling, wasted human potential, a lot of wastedmoney. All because of what? A sorely dysfunctional household that,despite the profession of its patriarch, is entirely tolerant of mentalillness.There are points that seem like they might have had a greater socialrelevance, commenting on things like feminism, sexuality, psychology.Sadly, these things don't ever really leave the Finch house, so even insuch an obviously 70's set and style, nothing has much of a context. I,more than anyone, hate a film being dismissed as the sum of its parts,but in all honesty this felt like nothing a hell of a lot more than twohours of strange people doing strange things. I will say, however, thatdespite all these gripes, it's very hard to take it out on the actors,and given everything this is an achievement and a half. Theperformances here are all of a respectable standard, with particularattention being demanded by Bening and more subtly roused by JosephFiennes and Evan Rachel Wood (Baldwin and Paltrow are very generoushere and they come out richer for it). The problem is not at all theacting, it's the characters themselves. Nothing happens to them. Eventhings that should create change in personalities or arcs, such aslosing virginity at 14 to a much older male, don't seem to have anysuch effects. And yes, it is misguided to criticize lack of characterdevelopment in a memoir piece, but that doesn't change the fact that akey part of the decision to film this autobiography should have been toacknowledge popular expectation of the film medium, and people expectmovies to entertain."It doesn't matter where I start" Burroughs tells us over a blackscreen in the opening segment "You won't believe me anyway" I can'thelp but think that the mentality that it doesn't matter where youstart (or where you go from there) is probably what brought this shipdown, and not to be overly mean about it, but for future reference,audiences will believe what you tell them. They won't necessarily care.
This review is from: Running With Scissors (DVD) I read the book about a month before ordering the DVD and obvioulsy the book is better. However, I found the movie to be a lot closer to the book than most people would think. I personally enjoyed this flick and even though I don't really like watching movies more than once I would consider watching this again if the occaison called for it.
I should have looked at the reviews before I subjected myself to what I thought would be a good movie. I watched the entire movie then removed it from the DVD player opened the back door and threw it across the yard. It will remain there until trash day and then it will reside in a land fill with all the other garbage.
This review is from: Running With Scissors [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray) This interesting and weird movie is based on the real life journal entrie's of writer Augustin Burroughs. The movie follows the true story of a young man, Augustin as he experiences adolesence in his new bizzare adopted family in the 70's.dealing with being abbonded by his bipolar mother and being adopted by the strange family of his therapist. the young man also is going through coming out of the closet and discovering his own creative writing.I found this movie to be inspiring with dealing with the craziness that is with in our world. A creative spin on an unconventional family setting.For me personally, a person dealing with bipolar, I found this an interesting insight to how the world may see individuals with bipolar disorder. I also found it interesting on how common issues were often mis diagnosed back in the 70's and how different things were even back then with people with mental disorders.All in all, I found this movie heart felt, interesting and a captivating spin on our own individual living settings. I highly reccomend this movie.
OK, perhaps this film has some semblance to the true upbringing of the main character, the teen-aged Augusten Burroughs, but if so, the whole lot of them needed to be committed. Joseph Cross plays the young Burroughs, and does a pretty good job. The character's gay, and Mr. Cross is believable as a gay would-be hairdresser (sorry, cosmetologist). Most of the attention is going to be paid to Annette Bening's Deirdre Burroughs' performance, and Ms. Bening plays the self-indulgent, no-talent mother well, but the character is totally without sympathy. Jill Clayburgh plays Agnes Finch as a sad-sack, overwhelmed loser, but is one of the few sympathetic characters in the film. The beautiful Gwyneth Paltrow plays a character (Hope Finch) somewhat similar to her role in "The Royal Tenenbaums" (quirky to a fault). Overall, the movie was somewhat entertaining, but don't expect lots of laughs. My thoughts were (1) the father played (well) by Alex Baldwin should have divorced (or better yet, never married) Deirdre; (2) Child protective Services would have had its hands full with the Finch's even more dysfunctional family; (3) getting Augusten out of both the Burroughs' and the Finch's house was what we all were waiting for; and (4) the IRS hounding of Mr. Finch was probably the best use of that agency in quite some time.I can't really recommend the movie, but it isn't as bad as the worst reviews here, nor as good as the five-star reviews. Two and one-half stars.
I love a really good satire like 'The Royal Tannenbaums' (a superiorfilm all around) or even the less known 'Neighbors,' adapted from thebook by one of my favorite authors, Thomas Berger. But this slopstarted out going in a million directions at once and was a chore tosuffer through. The satire was so unimpressive the film had to resortto sex and potty humor (literally) to gain a laugh. If you want tolaugh out loud skip this piece of garbage and pick up 'Kiss Kiss, BangBang' instead, you'll be glad you did.I also have to comment on the acting which was surprisingly uneven.Anette Bening was the wrong person for the part, while Alec Baldwin wasterrific for a change, Brian Cox as the patriarch psychiatrist Dr.Finch was flat out bad, while Rachel Wood showed why she is developinginto a fine young actress. The plot was so ridiculous that it wentstraight past satire or black comedy and ended up as a piece of junk.How this movie ever got made I will never know. A 3 out of 10 is thebest I can give it,
I watched this movied after reading the book and the movie was a horrible disapointment. the book was amazing and a great read, i was looking forward to watching the movie. the movie was such a let down. it left out most of the book and i am not sure how someone could follow the movie if they havent read the book. this is definitly a book that shouldnt have been made into a movie
Amusing but unsatisfying adaptation of Augusten Burrough'sautobiography. Burrough's mother (played by Annette Bening) fanciedherself a poet. After constant fighting with her husband (Alec Baldwin)she becomes entangled with a quack psychologist (Brian Cox), who drugsher up and convinces her to give custody of her son over to him.Augusten (Joseph Cross) lives between his mother and the psychologist,along with his quirky family (Jill Clayburgh, Gwyneth Paltrow and EvanRachel Wood). He also becomes romantically involved with the doctor'sother adopted son (Joseph Fiennes, whom I didn't recognize at all). Thefilm has a hard time deciding whether it's a comedy or a drama. Iimagine Augosten Burroughs had a hard time deciding which category hislife fit into, as well, if this is how it all went down! The doctor andhis family are endlessly quirky. The man graduated from Yale, but livesin a hell-hole where nothing is clean, Christmas decorations are keptup all year around, and the doctor's wife eats dog food while watchingDark Shadows. Oh, and the guy interprets his stool to tell his fortune.But then, this is supposed to have really happened, so it certainly hasa tragic angle to it all. The doctor doped Burrough's mother intooblivion and stole all her money, and the child support his fathersent. The movie is often very funny, especially near the beginning,before we realize the tragic aspects of it. It does also contain one ofthe funniest lines of the year, concerning the doctor's private room,which he refers to as his "masturbatorium", read with aplomb by BrianCox. The movie starts falling apart when the drama and comedy don'tmix. Several scenes don't work well at all, especially a completelynonsensical montage mixing three disparate events together, at leastone of which doesn't fit into the movie whatsoever. The pop music scoreis especially amateurish, even worse than the one in The Departed. Themovie is far from great, but it's worth seeing for the performances.Everyone is very good here. Wait for video, though.
The film is a travesty compared to the book. I do not make the trite argument of whether or not the book is better than the film. That has nothing to do whatsoever with my review of this exploitation film.My family has twice been through this sort of life-altering series of events, and after seeing the film in the theater with great expectations, i wanted to gouge my eyes out. The treatment of mental illness was handled in a criminal manner, and I can only guess that this was done out of sheer stupidity or ignorance on the director's part.For people who have been through these tragedies before, this movie is merely a painful drudging up of the greatest sorrows and angers. (Don't see this movie.) And for those who are unfamiliar with people in this condition, you should not be there at all. I only say this because the audience surrounding us in the theater laughed uproariosly during scenes in which we were crying. This is not the film to see for the average movie-goer with no background in severe mental illness. You would only become more ignorant for absorbing this film.SIMPLE FACT: good acting or bad, making the actions of people with these mental illnesses into big jokes, into prop gags, is just plain wrong. And that is what the director chose to do. The audience howled in laughter during the most soul-crushing parts (due to perverse or moronically skillful direction), when they should have been greatly saddened by the condition of the mentaly ill people. It was utterly appalling.I have not watched such an offensive, debasing film in a long time. This movie exploits the mentally ill, while it makes the film-makers money. It makes those who have been through the pains of having helped family and friends with mental illnesses relive moments of terror unnecessarily. People inexperienced in this area who see the movie learn nothing or learn falshoods on the topic. The film is done in a trite manner with no regard to actually helping individuals with their lives. That alone is enough to say that this film is so horrible that there is no reason for anyone to see it ever. EVER. Never ever see this horrifyingly misguided explotation film.And if anyone who reads this was on the production staff: producers, (adaptation) writers, the director... please feel free to contact me on this forum. Then we can move somewhere more private (e.g. e-mail). I would not mind having some words with you.The unfortunate result for film viewers who have no dealings with the mentally ill on an intimate level more likely than not will come away from the movie thinking that severe mental illness is laughable at best and can be ignored at worst. Please do something better with your time and with your mind; stay away from this movie.
This review is from: Running With Scissors [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray) This is a very colorful movie, and it lends itself admirably to making a great looking blu-ray.
I read the book, and for some reason had very high expectations. The book was quirky, sad, eccentric, horrific, and redeeming all at once. But the movie was just horrific from the very start. The character depth was nonesxistent, the plot was dismal, and the script was, for a lack of a better word, atrocious. Even though the adaptation tried to remain faithful to the book, all the scenes seemed to be lacking the spark and charisma that Burroughs had in his writing. I pictured the characters differently, and seeing them on screen as three dimensional figures, I realized they were better off on paper. The book is definitely worth the read, but the movie should be forgotten quickly. When will authors learn?