October 18, 2006
Running with Scissors

This film was extremely uneven from the tone it tries to create to the realization of various scenes to the effectiveness of the all too self-conscious soundtrack. Yet when the film works, can it ever work and the cast elevates the material to a level it would not have otherwise achieved.

The film largely plays like a series of vignettes. The scenes do not flow from one to another as well as they should. Many scenes are too over-the-top, even for a film seeking quirkiness, while others just rubbed me the wrong way.

But in spite of this, the film was never boring, often very funny and rather emotionally involving. Annette Bening was wonderful in so many different ways while Clayburgh, Wood, Cox, Baldwin and Chenoweth (in just two scenes) are particularly noteworthy members of the very large cast. Might I add that the first 20 or so minutes – as well as the last 10-ish – are absolutely wonderful bookends for the film.

The critics seem to be sharpening their sheaths for this. And I’ll concede it’s not great filmmaking. But it’s still fundamentally enjoyable and quite affecting at times. It certainly doesn’t deserve to be dismissed.


The soundtrack was self-conscious for a reason. He crafted a number of scenes with music in mind.

I don't doubt that. I just found the effectiveness was very hit-and-miss.

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