Sharon reviews Running with Scissors

run.jpgIf your childhood wasn’t perfect you are going to like Running with Scissors. If it was then maybe you will understand the rest of the world a little better. This movie captures the justification of insane behavior that goes on in abnormal childhoods perfectly. It does so with midnight black humor, and painfully open acting. I was laughing hysterically on one beat, only to be devastated on the next.

How does it dance the line so perfectly? It may be because it’s based on the memoirs of Agusten Burroughs, who lived the story, or it could be because the director Ryan Murphy.(Nip/Tuck creator) also had a similar childhood so he could bring the humor and the pain that is present in offbeat upbringings.

Here’s the synopsis: A teenage Augusten Burroughs (Cross) absorbs experiences that could make for a shocking memoir: the son of an alcoholic father (Baldwin) and an unstable mother (Bening), he’s handed off to his mother’s therapist, Dr. Finch (Cox), and spends his adolescent years as a member of Finch’s bizarre extended family.


The casting is great in the movie, Annette Bening just kills as the mother Deidre Burroughs, she is completely mesmerizing every time she comes on screen, it is her best performance to date hands down. Then there is the opposite of Deidre, quiet Agnes Finch played by Jill Clayburgh, who brings a tone to this movie that no one else could have given. With her patience and kindness without any expectations, she warms up every frame.

There is some surprising casting for Burroughs gay lover in the way of Joseph Fines, believe me he is no Shakespeare in Love in this movie, he is a funny and painfully troubled man. We also get to see fabulous performances from Gwyneth Paltrow, the delicious Evan Rachel Woods, Alec Baldwin, Brian Cox and lovable Joseph Cross as Augusten Burroughs.

One of the biggest reasons the chemistry was so good in this movie has to do with Murphy. He allows a lot of freedom and improv with his actors and said that Brian Cox in particular gave the movie a lot of extra spice with good improvisation.

Sharp dialogue, darkly comedic with drama at just the right moments, Running with Scissors is a fantastic dark comedic drama. I loved this movie, it’s a great ensemble cast and I’m giving it a nine out of ten, for a no go or routh it’s a total routh.

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