Running with Scissors (2006)

R  |   |  Comedy, Drama  |  27 October 2006 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.2/10 from 19,620 users   Metascore: 52/100
Reviews: 187 user | 132 critic | 32 from

Young Augusten Burroughs absorbs experiences that could make for a shocking memoir: the son of an alcoholic father and an unstable mother, he's handed off to his mother's therapist, Dr. Finch, and spends his adolescent years as a member of Finch's bizarre extended family.



(screenplay), (book)
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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 3 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Gabriel Guedj ...


The story of how a boy was abandoned by his mother and how he, later, abandoned her. The year he'll 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 mother's mental illness worsens, he takes an older lover, he finds friendship with Finch's younger daughter, and he's the occasional recipient of gifts from an unlikely benefactor. Can he survive to come of age? Written by <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Ever have one of those lives? See more »


Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong language and elements of sexuality, violence and substance abuse | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

27 October 2006 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Recortes de mi vida  »

Box Office


$12,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$226,108 (USA) (20 October 2006)


$6,754,898 (USA) (17 November 2006)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs



Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Julianne Moore was originally attached to play Deirdre Burroughs. See more »


In the first scene with Deirdre's poetry circle, set in 1978, Dierdre says that Anne Sexton gave a poetry recital the week before. Sexton died in 1974. See more »


Norman Burroughs: So... you're saying we should split up?
Dr. Finch: In order to reach that conclusion, Norman, I would need to see both you and Deirdre on a regular and disciplined basis, for five hours a day.
Deirdre Burroughs: I'm available, Doctor Finch.
Norman Burroughs: Five hours a day? I can't do that! I have to work!
Deirdre Burroughs: See, Doctor Finch, I told you. I'm married to a narcissist.
Dr. Finch: Norman, if I'm willing to clear my schedule to save your marriage, but you're not... then get out! Leave this office, go home, and start dividing your books and your record ...
See more »


Featured in The 64th Annual Golden Globe Awards (2007) See more »


Blue Champagne
Written by Frank Ryerson, Grady Watts and Jimmy Eaton
Performed by Tex Beneke
Courtesy of Soundies, Inc.
By Arrangement with Sugaroo!
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User Reviews

Horrifically Hilarious
27 October 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Black comedies can be very subjective to an audience. Running With Scissors isn't for everyone. The humor comes from the often shocking dysfunction the characters struggle with. Annette Bening plays a woman so selfish, egotistical and full of anger that she would destroy her family to satisfy her needs. Ms. Bening's performance is raw and spontaneous. Brian Cox plays the doctor she turns to who may or may not be an out and out quack, another stellar performance. Natalie Rachel Ward stands out as the doctors younger daughter while Gweneth Paltrow seems lost amongst the fine acting surrounding her, and although it is always good to see Jill Clayburgh in anything, I was not as impressed with her as I have been in the past. Alec Baldwins turn as Bening's husband is small, but he holds his own. In the midst of all the over the top, almost Gothic insanity is Bening and Baldwin's son, based on the author, subtly played by Joseph Cross. Joseph Fiennes has a difficult time with a difficult character, another victim of the doctor's "treatment".

I would agree with another commenter who stated that the director Ryan Murphy uses every trick in the book when it comes to film making and then some. I fully expected a musical number or a dream sequence. As evidenced in Nip Tuck, Murphy relies on music to enhance a mood. The art direction and costumes capture the seventies and all it's weirdness. As others have said RWS also reminded me of American Beauty in it's anti-American dream nature. This movie covers dark territory, doesn't have obvious comedy and doesn't follow any typical scenario although it did suffer from "sappy" moments. I can guarantee that you'll walk out of the theater happy that you aren't anyone in the film.

63 of 92 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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