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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


NSFTh 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 »


After Augusten's mother hands him the adoption papers, he crumples them with his hands and drops them. In the next shot, the papers are sitting uncrumpled on the kitchen table. See more »


Augusten Burroughs: According to Hope, Freud died of kitty leukemia. According to me, Freud died of being trapped in a laundry basket for four days without food or water.
See more »


References Frankenstein (1931) See more »


Bennie and the Jets
Written by Elton John and Bernie Taupin
Performed by Elton John
Courtesy of Mercury Records Limited
Under license from Universal Music Enterprises
See more »

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User Reviews

Contains some moments of brilliance amongst a pedestrian treatment
17 April 2008 | by JoeytheBritSee all my reviews

Well, one thing you can't say about this film is that it doesn't try to be different, even if it ultimately resembles a number of independent US 'dysfunctional family' movies. The trouble is it sometimes comes across as being too clever and, for all its quirky characters - who should be drawing you into their world and lives - the film stubbornly holds the audience at arm's length. This is a major weakness, because it leaves you feeling like you're watching animals in a zoo or specimens under a microscope rather than real people with real emotions.

The immediate suspicion about memoirs is that they are the memories (real or manufactured - but that's an entirely different can of worms) of just one person in the story, and that the other characters have no opportunity to provide their side of that story. The real-life Finch family brought legal action against Augusten Burroughs for the way they were portrayed and the case was settled out of court by Burrough's publishers. This could have been because they didn't want to get involved in a potentially damaging and expensive court case, or it might have been because the Finches had a strong case - either way the fact of the settlement is bound to cast some doubt over the truth of Burrough's tale.

With regards to the film itself, it's something of a trudge for the most part. This is despite the fact that every single part is played to perfection by an eclectic cast. Brian Cox, whose career appears to become more successful the older he gets, is especially good as the crackpot psychiatrist who adopts the 15-year-old Burroughs (Joseph Cross), welcoming him into an eccentric and disturbed family. Annette Bening also gives a terrific performance, even though her character becomes increasingly annoying as the film goes on (only Jill Clayburgh and Alec Baldwin's characters emerge with any kind of dignity). Although the film tends to drag at times, when it shines it really shines, especially with the use of some well-chosen songs from the 70s. The sequence played out to Al Stewart's Year of the Cat is particularly memorable, and it's a shame that these moments are distributed so sparingly amongst the more pedestrian material.

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