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Running with Scissors

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Ryan Murphy
Produced by Ryan Murphy
Augusten Burroughs
Brad Pitt
Brad Grey
Written by Augusten Burroughs
Ryan Murphy
Starring Annette Bening
Brian Cox
Joseph Fiennes
Evan Rachel Wood
Alec Baldwin
Jill Clayburgh
Joseph Cross
Gabrielle Union
with Gwyneth Paltrow
Music by James S. Levine
Cinematography Christopher Baffa
Editing by Byron Smith
Studio Plan B Entertainment
Distributed by TriStar Pictures
Release date(s) October 27, 2006
Running time Theatrical cut
116 min.
122 min.
Country United States
Language English
Budget $12 million
Gross revenue $6,754,898

Running With Scissors is a 2006 Golden Globe-nominated comedy-drama film based on the memoir of the same name by Augusten Burroughs directed by Ryan Murphy starring Joseph Cross, Annette Bening, Brian Cox, Joseph Fiennes, Evan Rachel Wood, Gabrielle Union and Alec Baldwin.



Based on the memoir Running with Scissors by Augusten Burroughs, the film is a semi-autobiographical account of Burroughs' childhood. His mother (Annette Bening), perceiving an ill-fated upbringing, places him under the care of her unorthodox psychiatrist, Dr. Finch (Brian Cox), the eccentric patriarch of an oddball family.

At the age of 12, Burroughs (played by Joseph Cross) finds himself in Victorian squalor living an unconventional youth among the doctor’s family, and is subject to irregular visits by his increasingly unsound mother. At one point, Burroughs befriends Neil Bookman (Joseph Fiennes), Finch's adopted 33-year-old son, and the two enter an erratic sexual relationship.

The story is of a childhood in which the boundary between reality and fantasy is ignored and finally broken; as, ultimately, is the irreplaceable bond between mother and son.

In an interview regarding the movie, Augusten Burroughs stated that he felt the movie was about one's quest for family.

Divergence from book

The film diverges from the book in several important respects. A key aspect of the book is the narrator's progress through adolescence, but the film has one actor, Joseph Cross (age 19), who plays the central role throughout most of the movie, including scenes where the character is aged 12 or 13. The movie shies away from many of the sexual aspects of the book. The nature of Augusten's first sexual episode with Bookman is different (the film does not portray it as a rape as the book does), the nature of Augusten's discovery of his mother's lesbianism is changed (this is presented in the film as the discovery of her kissing her lover, Fern (played by Kristin Chenoweth), but in the book he walks in on them engaged in oral sex), and Deirdre accuses Dr. Finch of stealing from her, rather than raping her as in the book. The character of Bookman also takes on a dangerous element in the film that he lacks in the book (at the end of the movie he is shown hovering over a sleeping Dr. Finch with a pair of scissors, but this does not occur in the book). Moreover, the film glosses over and/or distorts much of the book's philosophy. For example, the film has Augusten state that life is "just a series of surprises," whereas in the book he has a somewhat bleaker yet more comical tone: "Our lives are one endless stretch of misery punctuated by processed fast foods and the occasional crisis or amusing curiosity."



The soundtrack for the film was released on September 26, 2006, a month and a day prior to the film's release.

  1. "Pick Up the Pieces" - Average White Band
  2. "Blinded by the Light" - Manfred Mann's Earth Band
  3. "The Things We Do For Love" - 10cc
  4. "Mr. Blue" - Catherine Feeny
  5. "One Less Bell to Answer" - The 5th Dimension
  6. "Quizás, Quizás, Quizás" (Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps) - Nat King Cole
  7. "Poetry Man" - Phoebe Snow
  8. "Bennie and the Jets" - Elton John
  9. "Year of the Cat" - Al Stewart
  10. "O Tannenbaum" - Vince Guaraldi Trio
  11. "A Great Ocean Liner" - James Levine
  12. "Stardust" - Nat King Cole
  13. "Teach Your Children" - Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young

An adaptation of Telepopmusik's "Another Day" was also an underlying theme that recurred several times throughout the film. "Waltz For Debby", "Very Early", and "Re: Person I Knew", by Bill Evans are used in the film as well. The song playing in the "Stew" scene is "d-moll" by the duo Tosca off of their album Delhi 9; this theme is repeated through the film.


External links

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