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Running With Scissors (2006)

Director:
Ryan Murphy
COUNTRY
USA
GENRE
Drama/Comedy
NORWEGIAN TITLE
Running With Scissors
RUNNING TIME
116 minutes
Producer:
Dede Gardner
Brad Grey
Ryan Murphy
Brad Pitt
Screenwriter (from the book by Augusten Burroughs):
Ryan Murphy


Cast includes:

CHARACTER ACTOR/ACTRESS RATING
Deirdre Burroughs Annette Bening
Dr. Finch Brian Cox
Neil Bookman Joseph Fiennes
Natalie Finch Evan Rachel Wood
Norman Burroughs Alec Baldwin
Augusten Burroughs Joseph Cross
Agnes Finch Jill Clayburgh
Hope Finch Gwyneth Paltrow
Michael Shephard Patrick Wilson
Fern Stewart Kristin Chenoweth
Joan Colleen Camp
Six-Year-Old Augusten Jack Kaeding

 

Review

The sad and disillusioned life and philosophy of Augusten Burroughs' unloving and dysfunctional upbringing in the late 1970s is the basis for this big screen adaption by first-timer Ryan Murphy. It starts off promisingly with a soulful and inspired depiction of Augusten's family situation as a child - caught between the ignorance of his father and the self-centered love of his mother. Annette Bening does brilliantly well to convey the diverging energy and love of the mentally ill mother, and she keeps this film alive with her performance. Unfortunately, as Murphy progresses, he loses track of the emotional anchor and gets too hung up with the weirdness of Burrough's account. Murphy's explanations and characterizations are overdone without evoking the desired amusement or comedy. Also, it doesn't seem a wise move to exaggerate the eccentricity while at the same time glossing over the events that function as the foundation of Burrough's social criticism. The ensemble cast is largely fine, but 19-year-old Joseph Cross has a hapless task of portraying Augusten ranging in age from his early to his late teens.

Copyright 24.10.2007 Fredrik Gunerius Fevang

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