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Cinema - Running With Scissors, 9/10 - 2006

Mar 24 2007, 11:22 PM (Post #1)
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Title - Running With Scissors
Year - 2006
Writer - Ryan Murphy, adapted from Augusten Burroughs' autobiography.
Director - Ryan Murphy
Starring - Annette Bening, Brian Cox, Evan Rachel Wood, Joseph Cross, Gwyneth Paltrow
Official Website -

Adapted from Augusten Burroughs' autobiography, this is a tale of Augusten's early life, excellently potrayed by all involved.

Starting life as the son of an alcoholic, workaholic father and a failed and derailed poet mother results in a serious imbalance in Augusten's young mind. Persuaded to skip school to help his mother comb her hair and read her poetry, Augusten finds his eccentric side being awoken from an early age.

As both parents inner demons come to forefront, his father seeks solitude in a bottle and his mother in a pyschiatrist. Before he knows what has happened, Augusten finds himself abandoned by his mother, from one madhouse to another.

Forced into Dr Finch's madcap world, Augusten tries his best to make sense of his surroundings - Agnes Finch, an aging woman who watches black and white movies in silence while eating cat food; Hope Finch, a demented woman who enjoys "Bible-dipping" and converses pyschically with the family's pet; and Natalie, a strong young woman who is more zany than mad.

As time passes, Augusten learns that all is not what it seems - Dr Finch's "family" is actually made up of men and women likewise abandonded by past patients, the line between sane and insane is constantly crossed by every member of this extended family, and even Augusten's sexuality is challenged by the older, yet mentally weaker, Neil Bookman, the black sheep of this family.

With excellent use of scenes, colours, music and characters, Murphy builds each character up and upon one another like a house of cards, until it eventually crumbles and falls, leaving all shattered and reflective of their own lives.

Unusualy for a true story, and one as sorrowful as this, the movie is filled with many genuinely funny moments. I think the subtley of these scenes, combined with the pure madness of the setting, convinces your mind that what you are seeing is not real. But the end segment brings it all back home, reminding you that this happened to a real person, but showing that through any travesty and loss, love shines through, and we as humans are more versatile and feisty than we sometimes give ourselves credit for. A certifiable must-see, if only for the "Blinded By The Light" musical segment. Awesome.

Rating - 9/10
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