Running with Scissors

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Running with Scissors ★★ 2006 (R)

Sex, drugs, and insanity are manifest in the debuting Murphy's adaptation of Augusten Burrough's memoirs of his screwedup adolescence. Narcissist monster mom Deirdre (Bening) has divorced son Augusten's (Cross) alcoholic father Norman (Baldwin) and is in therapy with bizarre shrink Dr. Finch (Cox). The two adults decide Augusten will live with Finch's family in their ramshackle Victorian house, where he is subjected to such eccentricities as the depressed, kibbleeating Mrs. Finch (Clayburgh) and adoptive son Neil (Fiennes), who seduces the willing teenager. Also ensconced are Biblereading Hope Finch (Paltrow) and her rebellious younger sister Natalie (Wood), who befriends Augusten. Cross has the least showy role as reactive narrator and the flick is more scenic than coherent. 121m/C DVD . US Joseph Cross, Annette Bening, Brian Cox, Joseph Fiennes, Evan Rachel Wood, Alec Baldwin, Jill Clayburgh, Gwyneth Paltrow, Gabrielle Union, Kristin Chenoweth, Patrick Wilson, Jack Kaeding, Gabriel Guedj; D: Ryan Murphy; W: Ryan Murphy; C: Christopher Baffa; M: James Levine.