Running with Scissors

Synopsis: The story of how a boy was abandoned by his mother and how he, later, abandoned her. The year he'll be 14, the parents of Augusten Burroughs (1965- ) divorce, and his mother, who thinks of herself as a fine poet on the verge of fame, delivers him to the eccentric household of her psychiatrist, Dr. Finch. During that year, Augusten avoids school, keeps a journal, and practices cosmetology. His mother's mental illness worsens, he takes an older lover, he finds friendship with Finch's younger daughter, and he's the occasional recipient of gifts from an unlikely benefactor. Can he survive to come of age?
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Director(s): Ryan Murphy
Production: Sony Pictures
  Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 3 wins & 6 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
116 min

Edited By


My name is Augusten Burroughs.

Where do I begin to tell the story

of how my mother left me,

and then I left my mother?

Maybe I should begin with the part about

how she'd keep me home from school.

That's how close we were.

I was so crazy about her.

Oh, hello, Miss Mimm,

this is Deirdre Burroughs calling.

Augusten won't be attending school today.

I over-conditioned my hair.

- He over-conditioned his hair.

- And the party.

And he has to help me with the dinner party.

Thank you.

My mother was crazy about me too.

I've always known that.

I guess it doesn't matter where I begin,

because nobody's gonna

believe me anyway.


Wake up. Wake up.

Augusten. Wake up.

I need you.

Okay. Testing. Testing. Can you hear me?

"Childhood is gone. What remains?

"Childhood is gone. And youth.

"And ties with people I have loved

are broken now.

"My grief is more than I can easily contain.

"My grief builds this town anew

"and raises all the dead to walk with me

this day.

"What's left?

"My future seems nefarious,

"drained of mystery

"known in my bones.

"Most of all, what I will miss

"is the extravagance of my entire future

"stretched out before me

like a highway in the desert.

"Waves of heat rising up, wrinkling the air.

"I weep for what is gone.

"And I weep for myself."

Okay, now I need your honest reaction.

Did it feel powerful to you?

Emotionally charged?

It really does seem like something

you'd read in The New Yorker.

You really think so?

The New Yorker's very selective.

They don't publish just anyone.

I really think they would publish this.

That thing with your paralyzed sister,

that was great.

Well, we'll see.

I just got a rejection letter from

The Virginia Quarterly.

That worries me.

Of course, if The New Yorker did accept

this poem, your grandmother would see it.

I can't imagine what she would say.

But I can't let her reaction

keep me from publishing.


your mother was meant to be

a very famous woman.

I have a reading. I have books to sign.

I told you to be here at 4:00. It's 4:30.

- I got stuck in traffic.

- Bullshit. You're trying to sabotage me.

Wanna play checkers, Dad?

Not right now, son. My back is out,

I've got papers to grade and I'm very tired.

So why don't you go outside and play

with the dog for a little while?

But I'm sick of Cream.

All she wants to do is sleep.

She's an old lady.

Testing. One, two, three.

Thank you for coming to my poetry

reading tonight.

"Childhood is gone. What remains?

"Childhood is gone. And youth."

"And ties with people I have loved

are broken now.

"My grief is more than I can easily contain.

"What's left?

"My future seems nefarious

"drained of mystery

"known in my bones."

Thank you.

I don't understand.

I polish my allowance.

I boil it clean,

then polish it with silver polish.

But why, Augusten? Why?

Because I like shiny things.

I really don't see myself in you at all.

I'm more like my mom.

I wanna be special and I wanna be famous.

Are you going to a funeral?

No. No, sweetie. It's a gown

for public appearances. You wanna cut?

See, the plan is, I'm announced,

at some place grand and serious

like Carnegie Hall.

And I come out in this.

And I stand in front of a black velvet curtain.

I'm gonna demand that in my contract.

And that way, everything fades away,

except my writing.

The mail came.

"And when the sun comes out

"the daffodil looks skyward.

"Wet from the rain

"but not broken.

"Triumphant trumpet."

Did you like it, Deirdre?

I've been working on it

since the last meeting of the poetry club.

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "Running with Scissors" STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 19 Sep. 2021. <>.

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