Walking the line between comedy and tragedy, Running With Scissors recalls the growing pains of writer Augusten Burroughs. Joseph Cross plays his younger incarnation (in the 70s) after his mother dumps him on her shrink (Brian Cox). Critics didn't care much for writer/director Ryan Murphy's "somewhat affected" style, but Annette Bening won plaudits for her portrayal of mommy dearest.
Slice Of Life
Three featurettes only scrape the surface of this very ambitious film. Inside Outsiders is a rough patchwork of interviews with cast and crew, that brushes aside the notion of "good guys and bad guys" and presents a family portrait of well-meaning oddballs. Bening accepts that her character is unsympathetic, but insists that she herself is "very sympathetic" to Mrs Burroughs' plight. Of course, that's the first lesson for any budding actor and Cross was definitely taking notes. "They were all very open to teach me something," says the up-and-comer.
The real Augusten Burroughs reflects briefly on the business of reliving his childhood in A Personal Memoir... He admits that for many years he was emotionally stunted by his experiences and fought a long battle with alcoholism. When he eventually came to writing a first draft of his book, he remembers that "it was coming out too dark" and the process took years. Disappointingly though, there are very few insights into how the story evolved from book to screen. Murphy says only that he knew how to adapt the story because Burroughs is his "soul mate..."
Finally, in under five-minutes, Creating The Cuckoo's Nest shows us how to make a grand old mansion look like a cross between Jayne Mansfield's 'Pink Palace' and the set of Steptoe & Son. Along with Laurence Llewlyn Bowen, fans of Bening will want to check out the film, but the DVD is otherwise quite ordinary.
Running With Scissors DVD is released on Monday 18th June 2007.