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The Tracey Fragments (2008)

Ellen Page , Julian Richings , Bruce McDonald  |  R |  DVD
3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Ellen Page, Julian Richings, Erin McMurtry, Ari Cohen, Maxwell McCabe-Lokos
  • Directors: Bruce McDonald
  • Format: 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: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0017VG5XM
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #87,746 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

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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

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
47 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Immerse Yourself July 8, 2008
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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48 of 57 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Scattered traces of an adolescent psyche July 10, 2008
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
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent film, fantastic performance, wonderful editing September 22, 2008
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Realistic, in a surreal way July 14, 2009
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Ellen Page carries off the fifteen year old Tracey Berkowitz beautifully. She's honest, confused, hormone-addled, bullied, determined, naive, and desperate. She wanders between fantasy, memory, and reality moment by moment, and the kaleidoscopic display on screen captures that. She makes all the wrong choices but for all the right reasons. In her own words, "age fifteen, a perfectly normal girl who hates herself."

The furious father, robotic mother, androgynous therapist, and overly playful brother all appear to us colored by the wild emotional tints of this young woman. Page, in an "extras" interview, characterize Tracey as honest above all. I guess she is. She hangs it all out, all the time, as so many young girls do, and shows us what she sees - even if no one else in the world would see what she does.

This enjoyable film glories in its minimal budget. If you want plot, resolution, and events causally leading to others - well, maybe you haven't spent enough time around teenage girls. This projects a disjoint character that seems entirely too true to teenagers I've known.

-- wiredweird
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting
Ellen page is a fantastic actor such an intensely acted,directed and written piece of profound work a job well done
Published 4 months ago by Katie arpino
5.0 out of 5 stars I loved the ride
I agree with some of the other reviewers here that what makes The Tracey Fragments both challenging and rewarding is that you have to piece the narrative together by entering the... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Big Reader
5.0 out of 5 stars This is one of my favorite Ellen Page movies.
Many people may not know what to expect with this movie, but it is a good movie if you pay attention. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Kasey
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Movie, Not for Everyone
This is not a movie for everyone. Moreover, this is not a movie for most people. It's a movie with a nonlinear, surreal, abstract plot line. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Will Graham
I've seen many movies that are hard to get at the end e.g......'vanilla sky "and "he was a quiet man" to name a few. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Mann
5.0 out of 5 stars The Tracey Fragments!
i actually stumbled across a "fragment" of this film in a youtube parody video a few weeks ago. Read more
Published 21 months ago by thomas
1.0 out of 5 stars Pretentious garbage!
This was easily one of the worst movies I have ever seen in my life! I actually purchased this junk in a dollar store, and let me tell you, a dollar was too much! Read more
Published on July 14, 2012 by BirdGirl
3.0 out of 5 stars The Tracey Fragments
Wow this movie was another one that I did not expect would turn out the way it did. It was not her best movies but I guess it made it. Read more
Published on June 30, 2012 by lively
5.0 out of 5 stars A Work of Art with Ellen Page at her Best
If you are the type of person who strolls through a modern art museum wondering what anyone could possibly see in all that surrounds you, then this movie isn't for you. Read more
Published on March 7, 2012 by idleyes
3.0 out of 5 stars Great Service From Amazon But This Film Bores Me
I am a huge fan of Ellen page, she is, in my opinion, one of the best actresses of our day. I saw her in Juno then in Hard Candy and fell in love with how she conveys the emotions... Read more
Published on November 3, 2011 by Jenna
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