Reviewed by: Misty Wagner
What’s wrong with being gay? Answer
Homosexual behavior versus the Bible: Are people born gay? Does homosexuality harm anyone? Is it anyone’s business? Are homosexual and heterosexual relationships equally valid?
What about gays needs to change? Answer
It may not be what you think.
Struggling with homosexuality yourself? Read stories about those who have struggled and found wonderful change.
Sexually abused? Read personal accounts of others who have been abused
Does God feel our pain? Answer
Why does God allow innocent people to suffer? Answer
What about the issue of suffering? Doesn’t this prove that there is no God and that we are on our own? Answer
What kind of world would you create? Answer
|Featuring:||Annette Bening, Brian Cox, Joseph Fiennes, Evan Rachel Wood, Joseph Cross|
|Producer:||Steve Samuels, Brad Grey, Ryan Murphy|
|Distributor:||Sony Pictures Entertainment|
“Based on the personal memoirs of Augusten Burroughs”
I read the book Running with Scissors about a year ago . It had been on bestseller list long before I had decided to pick it up. Truthfully, one day I was reading a film-buzz press release which contained news about the film and cast, which caught my interest. Essentially, I read the memoir, for the movie. And now I see that it is impossible to review one without at least considering the other.
“Running with Scissors” is based on the memoir, of the same title, written by Augusten Burroughs. Augusten’s story is unlike any you have likely heard before. Because it seems quite the trendy thing, these days, there has been a lot of speculation that his story is enhanced and embellished. I think, sometimes, we get caught up in controversy, for controversy’s sake. It’s irrelevant really. This is his story, and as tragic as it tends to be, he tells it well.
Augusten begins the big screen version of his story, as a small boy. Through his child-eyes we see his parents, their marriage and how he dreams: Dreams of fame for his artistically poetic mother, and footsteps of his own, following right behind her. We speculate that his father (Alec Baldwin) may drink too much. We realize that his mother (Annette Bening) seems incapable of thinking of anyone other than herself. As an audience we are drawn in by Augusten’s beckoning blue eyes, sympathizing with his family and charmed by his childlike optimism, despite obvious emotional neglect.
Time fast forwards several years, and suddenly Augusten is roughly fourteen. His parents have gone from disagreeing, while still tolerating one another, to full blown rage. His father’s alcoholism is confirmed, as is his mother’s narcissism. Things escalate to an apparently violent state and Augusten’s mother, Deirdre, seeks out the professional help of Dr. Finch (Brian Cox). The real story, in my opinion, begins here, as the Burroughs’s marriage crumbles, Deirdre seems to grow more and more mentally unstable, and Augusten is eventually forced to move in with Dr. Finch and his bizarre family.
There isn’t really a reason, or way, to further explain the plot. It’s random, and something that could only make sense if written out in an entire screenplay, or memoir. Suffice it to say, “Running with Scissors” is not a film for everyone. If you read the book, and enjoyed it, than I recommend the movie. A few pointless characters are left out; several impertinent details are tamed down, altered or left out completely. Some things that were altered, like the dynamics of the relationship between Augusten and Neil, really change a large part of the story, but, other than that, I felt it was a great adaptation.
For those who aren’t familiar with the book, we learn about halfway through the film that Augusten is gay. As soon as Augusten’s best friend Natalie (Dr. Finch’s daughter, played by Evan Rachel Wood) learns this, she thinks to set him up with her adopted, schizophrenic 35 year old brother Neil. A relationship develops between Neil and Augusten, though most affection and intensity happens off camera. I felt that, considering the subject matter, their relationship was portrayed very tastefully.
Truthfully, there are probably other things that aren’t coming right to my mind. This isn’t a movie for those easily offended. It isn’t heartwarming or sweet. It isn’t one of those wacky comedies where moments are funny, but often they are both sad and humorous. Most of the movie is intense.
There are deep and meaningful things to be found in Augusten’s story. When I closed the back cover of the memoir, a year ago, I knew it had altered me a little. Tonight, as I left the theatre, I felt that once again. Though most movies can’t hold a candle to the books which inspired them, there are aspects in this film which became much more powerful acted out rather than simply being read about.
Violence: Mild / Profanity: Heavy / Sex/Nudity: Minor