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The Tracey Fragments

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

"My name is Tracey Berkowitz... 15... just a normal girl who hates herself." Oscarr-nominated* Ellen Page (Juno) delivers an extraordinary performance as a feisty, independent-minded teenager with a unique view of the world. From cutting-edge director Bruce McDonald (Hard Core Logo, Roadkill), The Tracey Fragments tells the story of an outsider who uses fantasy to help her deal with a secret crush, loneliness and frustration. When her 7-year-old brother wanders away while under her care, she examines her life as she is propelled on a late-night journey through the city in a desperate attempt to find him.


Teen angst is amped up by a nuanced performance by a pre-Juno Ellen Page in The Tracey Fragments. "Look, the other day, something happened. I came to certain realizations," says Tracey Berkowitz, played with deadpan heartbreak by Page, huddled on a late-night bus near the beginning of the film. "I can't tell you what or you'll end up like me, on this bus, looking for someone." The scene signals a rocky ride, and the film--a portrait of an outcast Canadian teen struggling with bullies, clueless parents, unrequited love, and her place in the world--is wrenching and challenging. Director Bruce McDonald has taken the "fragments" of the title literally, and so the film is presented in several simultaneous screen shots at a time; rarely in its duration is there simply one scene to watch, as though all the different facets of Tracey are playing out at once. Which, of course, they are.

Tracey is hassled at school, dismissed as an "it" for being flat-chested, and treated as invisible by her parents and even her therapist. Only when something dire happens may have been her responsibility does the rest of the world turn its judgmental focus on her. Tracey begins a quest to leave her old life behind and try to redeem herself--find and honor who she really is--in the process. And the film somewhat brutally takes the reader along for the ride. "How do you know what's real and not real when the whole world is inside your head?" Tracey muses on one of the buses she takes into the night. It's as perfect, and painful, a depiction of adolescence as any film in recent memory. --A.T. Hurley

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Ellen Page, Julian Richings, Erin McMurtry, Ari Cohen, Maxwell McCabe-Lokos
  • Directors: Bruce McDonald
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: THINKFILM
  • DVD Release Date: July 8, 2008
  • Run Time: 77 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0017VG5XM
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #39,224 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

It is fantastically well done and very stunning.
Pen Name?
This was only one of the many stylistic touches I didn't care for in this film.
Richard Ross
There are many, much better movies out there to waste one's time on this loser.
Artist & Author

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

48 of 50 people found the following review helpful By Michael Hanna on July 8, 2008
Format: DVD
The Tracey Fragments is an intense film. Yes, there is a lot going on on the screen pretty much all the time, but the fact is that if you watch this on a big screen and commit to piecing together the fragments of memory and emotion, this film can be a very rewarding experience. The film provides a window into the mind of a troubled fifteen-year-old girl named Tracey, and so the facts are necessarily disjointed and are colored (sometimes to the point of distortion) by the subject's emotions. I walked out of the theater feeling pretty blown away. The story itself is a powerful one, and the active viewer should experience a kind of slow burn of gradual realization (both about Tracey and the [mostly] poor excuses for people who populate her world) as they gather the scattered pieces of the subject's mind. Then as the film concludes and the viewer is able to assemble all of the pieces into a single image of who, how, and why, the suddenly unified plot makes a sudden and forceful impact. Though less than an hour and a half, the film is packed with at least as much substance as one would find in a conventionally executed 120-minute drama. Tracey is overwhelmed by her circumstances and the degree to which she feels responsible for her brother's disappearance, and the film unfolds with a palpable sense of panicked urgency, thanks in large part to the many rectangles of memory and imagination which populate the screen throughout the course of the film. Ellen Page once again manages to be simultaneously realistic and larger than life as the complex and tragic heroine. This is a film that demands repeated viewings to be fully appreciated. Impatient and passive viewers should steer clear of this film; it wasn't made for them anyway.
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49 of 59 people found the following review helpful By Luca Graziuso and Marina Ross on July 10, 2008
Format: DVD
A fierce, stark, implosive crawl through the adolescent pscyhe of a tortured 16 year old, inimical to her sorroundings and wrung to desolation by her temerity. Maureen Medved's eerie expose' of a rape victim's fragile self-desecrating self is redrawn by the Canadian author herself, with the complicitous and postmodern applications of director Bruce McDonald. The plot does not cover much ground, but that which it does range over it digs deep within. The warped sense of intimacy that we see Ellen Page's leading character tarry within is portrayed with such a vivid, terrific and terrifying virulence that we see before our very eyes the perils that it promises. The loneliness and alienation is confided to us by the mere strains of personality that Tracey Berkowitz betrays in her gall, a reactive toughnes within which tracey fenced herself while coiling about her the trimmings of a barbed wire.
The movie disorients and bounces, tatters and titters, fidgets in a continuous flourish of images that synchronically and diachronically impose themselves on the screen in adjecent, fading and overlapping fragments. The pattern of the narrative is sporadic and laden with the logic of a psyche that cannot make sense of what it is suffering, as much as it caves within this same pain for fear that anger and madness have the best of her. How stirring to watch the most talented young artist working today engaged in a production of such an entrancing livid urgency. Ellen Page shows us here why she may very well be the best ever. Yes I said it, she is that good. Incredibly so; and if she was showered with awards and applause for Juno, here she deserve nothing short of awe.
The movie differs in elemental ways from the novel it adopts its script from.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Pen Name? VINE VOICE on September 22, 2008
Format: DVD
This is a brilliant film, visually captivating and with a magnificent performance from Ellen Page. Perhaps most interesting is how the mood of the film, helped tremendously by the lighting and color choices for the scenes, perfectly captures the feeling of being a teenager caught up in the intertwined mess of school bullying and family dysfunction, thrust into their own head to fantasize about a way out. Maybe it's too stark and bleak for some viewers. To express the trauma that Tracey is dealing with and reacting to, and how her mind is processing all of it and struggling to assert a self in the midst of it... to present this on screen with such raw feeling is a beautiful, albeit brutal, achievement. I feel very strongly that the artistic choices in how the film is presented, it's broken sense of chronology, the collage and fragmented visuals, the narrative slipping through different forms of memory and blurring between 'fact' and 'fiction', all of it brings the spectator into the psyche of our protagonist, to break down the third person perspective close to experience the story as it unfolds in the mind of Tracey. It probably succeeds as this more than any film I have seen. It is fantastically well done and very stunning.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By B. E Jackson on March 11, 2010
Format: DVD
I completely understand why someone would despise the Tracey Fragments- remember the introduction to the Brady Bunch when you'd see the nine faces of each family member on screen at once? Each family member appeared on screen at the same time, all smiling and pretending to look at each other while stuck inside their screen-box, so to speak.

Imagine a movie attempting to put together a storyline around nothing but constantly revolving screens? Imagine if the Brady Bunch intro kept showing different pictures for over 70 minutes straight and tried telling a story THAT way? Wouldn't it be hard to follow?

The answer is yes, BUT with patience, you will eventually learn to adjust to this type of film-making.

Yes, for the first 30 minutes, I had a *really* hard time understanding what was going on as Ellen Page's character was running all over the place, getting picked on at school, coming across as somewhat psychotic. It definitely took me some time to piece together what was actually taking place before my confused eyes.

To be totally honest, for most of the movie I had a tough time knowing what was supposed to be "right here and now" and what was supposed to be the main character's flashbacks involving her younger brother. Sometimes it got really confusing to the point I was totally lost.

But once I adjusted to the rather odd way the film was put together (as I said, the entire film is comprised of nothing but numerous miniature screen-blocks all appearing at the same time and trying to piece together a storyline) I eventually got used to it.

Seriously, the comparison to the Brady Bunch introduction is the best way to describe how the entire movie flows for someone who might not be sure.
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