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.
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
When Augusten's mother receives a rejection from the New Yorker magazine, the return address is "4 Times Square" (the magazine's current address). In the 1970s, the address was "25 W. 43rd St.," where they had been for five decades. See more »
Worth seeing for the performances, and it is often amusing, and even touching occasionally
Amusing but unsatisfying adaptation of Augusten Burrough's autobiography. Burrough's mother (played by Annette Bening) fancied herself a poet. After constant fighting with her husband (Alec Baldwin) she becomes entangled with a quack psychologist (Brian Cox), who drugs her up and convinces her to give custody of her son over to him. Augusten (Joseph Cross) lives between his mother and the psychologist, along with his quirky family (Jill Clayburgh, Gwyneth Paltrow and Evan Rachel Wood). He also becomes romantically involved with the doctor's other adopted son (Joseph Fiennes, whom I didn't recognize at all). The film has a hard time deciding whether it's a comedy or a drama. I imagine Augosten Burroughs had a hard time deciding which category his life fit into, as well, if this is how it all went down! The doctor and his family are endlessly quirky. The man graduated from Yale, but lives in a hell-hole where nothing is clean, Christmas decorations are kept up all year around, and the doctor's wife eats dog food while watching Dark Shadows. Oh, and the guy interprets his stool to tell his fortune. But then, this is supposed to have really happened, so it certainly has a tragic angle to it all. The doctor doped Burrough's mother into oblivion and stole all her money, and the child support his father sent. The movie is often very funny, especially near the beginning, before we realize the tragic aspects of it. It does also contain one of the funniest lines of the year, concerning the doctor's private room, which he refers to as his "masturbatorium", read with aplomb by Brian Cox. The movie starts falling apart when the drama and comedy don't mix. Several scenes don't work well at all, especially a completely nonsensical montage mixing three disparate events together, at least one of which doesn't fit into the movie whatsoever. The pop music score is especially amateurish, even worse than the one in The Departed. The movie is far from great, but it's worth seeing for the performances. Everyone is very good here. Wait for video, though.
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