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Running with Scissors (2006)

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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.


Ryan Murphy


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





Cast overview, first billed only:
Annette Bening ... Deirdre Burroughs
Brian Cox ... Dr. Finch
Joseph Fiennes ... Neil Bookman
Evan Rachel Wood ... Natalie Finch
Alec Baldwin ... Norman Burroughs
Joseph Cross ... Augusten Burroughs
Jill Clayburgh ... Agnes Finch
Gwyneth Paltrow ... Hope Finch
Gabrielle Union ... Dorothy
Patrick Wilson ... Michael Shephard
Kristin Chenoweth ... Fern Stewart
Dagmara Dominczyk ... Suzanne
Colleen Camp ... Joan
Jack Kaeding ... Six-Year-Old Augusten Burroughs
Gabriel Guedj Gabriel Guedj ... Poo


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 <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


He's looking forward to a memory he won't have to suppress 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:

View content advisory »






Release Date:

27 October 2006 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Recortes de mi vida See more »


Box Office


$12,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$226,108, 22 October 2006, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$6,754,898, 19 November 2006
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs



Sound Mix:

DTS | SDDS | Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


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


There are two identical scenes of the family station wagon driving by. In both scenes, the station wagon passes the same section of street (including a blue 1965 Chevy Impala parked along the curb). See more »


Augusten Burroughs: I'm gay, too.
Neil Bookman: Holy Mary, Mother Of God. So that's what this is about. You're gay?
Augusten Burroughs: Yeah. I thought Natalie had told you.
Neil Bookman: Small world, right? You and me. Crazy. Smoke? Here, let me light you. Want a ride home?
Augusten Burroughs: Please.
Neil Bookman: I won't go fast. Maybe.
[Cut to Augusten and Neil in bed]
Augusten Burroughs: What just happened?
Neil Bookman: You think you're gay, right? That's what gay men do. Just wanted you to know what you're in for. Want a beer? Smoke?
Augusten Burroughs: No.
See more »


Referenced in Saturday Night Live: Alec Baldwin/Christina Aguilera (2006) See more »


from The Four Seasons (1723)
Written by Antonio Vivaldi
Performed by Capella Istropolitana
Courtesy of Naxos
By Arrangement with Source/Q
See more »

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User Reviews

In the spirit but not the success of Royal Tenenbaums
25 October 2006 | by jdesandoSee all my reviews

"The 'family' has clearly emerged anew in the late 1970s as a central subject for discussion, debate, research and writing in both scholarly and popular arenas. Anxiety over whether or not the family as a basic social institution is dying has diminished. In its stead has emerged a fairly broad consensus around the position that the family is "here to stay," but that it certainly is changing." Sheila B. Kamerman

"Where do I begin to tell the story of how my mother left me, and then I left her?" This promising opening, narrated by Augusten Burroughs (Joseph Cross), is followed by a scene in his 1972 Massachusetts home with his mother, Deirdre (Annette Bening) reciting tepid poetry composed for sending to The New Yorker into a microphone at a mock poetry reading. After that interesting scene, director Ryan Murphy, adapting the 2002 successful novel of the same name, piles on sometimes funny scenes in the spirit but not the success of Royal Tenenbaums and Little Miss Sunshine.

Eventually given up for adoption to an aging and unstable shrink, Dr. Finch (Brian Cox), Augusten samples a fringe life of turd gazing in a toilet, a masturbatiorium room for the doctor, and shock treatments for fun. In all of the seemingly eccentric scenes, there is no character, not even the narrator (played too remotely) who commands sympathy or with whom an audience can identify. Deirdre is too outré to be believable (although Bening is impressive in the devolution of the only possibly sympathetic character), and the doctor would be better played as Cox did the first Hannibal Lecter.

The minor characters such as Evan Rachel Wood's Natalie seem to exist for amusement rather than touchstones for what makes this house dysfunctional. The connections of love or even hate among family members do not bind as they did for the Tenenbaums. After a while, no jokey set up garners a laugh. What does happen, though, is a desire to go to the book to enjoy the faultless deadpan narration that endears readers to Augusten.

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