When Deirdre Burroughs (Annette Bening) impulsively decides that her adolescent son Augusten (Joseph Cross) should be raised by her unconventional psychiatrist (Brian Cox), her choice to give him away changes the course of his life forever. An all-star ensemble cast -- including Gwyneth Paltrow, Joseph Fiennes, Evan Rachel Wood, Alec Baldwin and Jill Clayburgh -- drives this quirky adaptation of Augusten Burroughs's best-selling memoir.
A month ago I read the memoir, Running With Scissors. I had been wanting to watch the movie, but I always read the books first if available. Also, two weeks in a row I have watched movies directed by Ryan Murphy. Obviously, he loves translating memoirs to screen, but he is terrible at it. I would fear him writing the directing memoir. He doesn't know how to string someone's life together to make it powerful. Eat Pray Love had so much potential to move people, but if fell so flat, and it was the same with Running With Scissors.
Regardless, the bizarre life of the Augusten will keep you entertained. It isn't a boring movie by any means. The thing about this movie is that it has no focus. We have all these interesting characters, but we can't really feel the perspective that this movie is from, which is Augusten. He almost seems like a side character in the whole movie. Since we had this lack of connection to the person who is supposed to be the main character we never really can feel for anyone.
Evan Rachel Woods is one of the few to get the audience involved with a character though. For some reason she stole the movie from everyone else. There was substance there that everyone else lacked. We knew she was terrified of the fact the world would reject her based on her family.
Running With Scissors was an interesting movie, but it could have been better executed for a more powerful feel between the blend of comedy, and drama in it. For the two hours it was given it actually felt underdeveloped.