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47 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Immerse Yourself
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...
Published on July 8, 2008 by Michael Hanna

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Realistic, in a surreal way
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,...
Published on July 14, 2009 by wiredweird


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47 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Immerse Yourself, July 8, 2008
By 
Michael Hanna (San Antonio, TX) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Tracey Fragments (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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48 of 57 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Scattered traces of an adolescent psyche, July 10, 2008
This review is from: The Tracey Fragments (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. The blizzard, the rape scene and the ridicule Tracey is subject to at school is dealt with in a very different reality. It actually adds a dimension to the narrative. Musings and dreamy aspirations are thwarted and tentaizingly strewn about the screen to echo the thoughts of a girl who is gearing to meet her fate as if by choice. Her parents are more sympathetic but insensitive and disruptive, if not altogether psychologically and emotionally violent all the same. The performences of Ari Cohen and Julian Richings are compelling, animated and free of the predicament of being cast in roles of such a perforating indiffference. Thinkfilms takes a risk in this production, for the topic of adolescent rape is somewhat of a taboo, especially if depicted in such realist and matter-of fact terms. The psychology is drawn about with bursts of anger and surreal sessions with a stone-faced therapist that in a void of whiteness delivers an insatiable array of innuendos, particles of a methodology that arrests its purpose as it seems incapable of offering a dialogue to a tormented mind. The soliloquies and voice-overs of the leading character are effective and demonstrative, often slurring through the scenes and designating a tentative memory double guessing itself. The frustration of being tit-less, an "it" according to her classmates, is a wound inflicted on Tracey too debilitating for even her feigned callousness. She carries herself as if burping lava sliming along announcing the eruption that never happens full force. A throttle that will release tension in a rape scene where she fantasizes she is making love with her boyfriend. She will at a later time while addressing us, on a bus running from reality, even claim that her rapist was actually her lover, several frames before we come to fully realize the truth of things. She insists that he "put his c*** in me and then said I love you, exactly in that order." How painful to recall that phrase. She is fearless indeed, but the tenderness is so pervasive we want to reach out to her and embrace her with a tight hold that may provoke her to at least surmise as possible that someone cares about her. The fragments of the story are shuffled with the overriding narrative of Tracey's brother Sonny's absence. She tells us she has not so much as run away as gone to retrieve her brother. This may function as an allegorical device if we run that route. Sonny disappears in conjunction with the rape scene, which I must add is innocent in its graphic covertness, but more powerful because of it. Do not have a minor watch this movie! It is too much even for mature audiences. But if art is a means to insights this movie succeeds admirably. It is a viewing that will haunt you more than any horror flick could ever wish to.The emotional starkness inscribes a feel of verisimilitude that is quite unique. The language is rouch and vulgar, but necessarily so. The psyche of a tortured, violated, thwarted and crushed adolescent girl is rendered in shattered pieces the spectator will be left picking through in an attempt to satisfy the fragility we are left with upon finishing the movie.
It is one of the most exceptional movies ever made, one that deploys postmodern language in a way that is not pretentious or ineffectual. It hits the spot, problem is that it leaves a deep wound where it hits.
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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
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This review is from: The Tracey Fragments (DVD)
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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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 review is from: The Tracey Fragments (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
5.0 out of 5 stars C'MON SHE'S TELLING YOU HER STORY AS SHE'S SITTING ON THE BUS..., November 17, 2013
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This review is from: The Tracey Fragments (DVD)
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. This is a great movie if you pay attention to it, she's (tracy berkowitz) telling you her story on the bus , she's telling you about the people in her life and how they play part, and how they affected her present situation...... if you ever watched some of Ouinten Tarrentino movies like pulp fiction it my be a little out of context but you can still follow it through. The main part of the story is she's searching for her little brother (sonny) which she claims she hypnotised him as a dog...and he starts barking at the dinner table, dad loses it....and he starts to follow her around as she takes a walk outside where she encourage him to chase her around like a dog playfully, running in a field near a lake, she stops for a while by a short bridge for a smoke and tells him to fetch..... he takes off and disappears at the the same time she see's this guy that's in one of her classes at high school that she's had fantasy about before, so, he lures her in his car and they start to make out. And after the guy gets what he wants he shoves her out the car and at that point she realize her little brother's gone...she cries out for him but, no reply she's in denial it's her fault but at the same time she accepts the responsibility of looking for him . But before all this tracy was already dealing with problems at school with the kids teasing her and bullying her...and that guy she fantasized about always came to her rescue eventhough that was a fantasy of her own as well , she even fantasized about being a superstar herself, but then reality kicks back in and she's back in the real cruel world just like precious in the movie "precious".Somewhere in the begining or the middle of the movie her parents or a private investigator or both confronts her on the disappearance sonny and believes she know more than what she telling. Later she sneaks out looking for him and encounter strange people along the way. Inc
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Tracey Fragments!, January 22, 2013
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This review is from: The Tracey Fragments (DVD)
i actually stumbled across a "fragment" of this film in a youtube parody video a few weeks ago.
i got the name of the actress and the film from a fellow youtuber in one of the comments and looked it up from there.
I fell in love with it from the first shot.
i am absolutely 100% undoubtedly in LOVE with ellen page!
she is so beautiful and so very talented.
i LOVE this movie!!!
did i mention how beautiful she is? lol xD
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Good, Mostly, May 13, 2010
By 
L. E Johnson (Raleigh, NC United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Tracey Fragments (DVD)
This isn't as great as Hard Candy but it's very good. Ellen Page is great in everything she's ever done and she's wonderful here as well, although it's time she started playing adult roles. If you pay attention to the fragmentation it's very effective, so give it another try.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars well I liked it, March 11, 2010
By 
This review is from: The Tracey Fragments (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. You've been warned because this is definitely NOT for everyone.

Let me give another example- while looking at the screen, one small block on the top left corner of the screen might show a horse standing around, another small block on the top right of the screen might show Ellen's father sitting around at the dinner table, and another medium-sized block might appear on the bottom of the screen showing Ellen's character doing something.

ALL these things appear on screen at the same exact time, and two seconds later each scene might change into something completely different.

It begs the question "Which screen block should I be following?" Well, I've been following the biggest one that appears on screen and ignoring the rest of them. Well not "ignore"- but not give them as much attention as the bigger ones.

However, watching this movie a second time might offer a much more rewarding experience. Who knows?

Why was the film produced this way? To show how "frgmented" Ellen's troubled teenage character really was throughout the movie. You see, she was involved in a very tragic circumstance with her brother disappearing suddenly and tragically. The film shows the events that lead up to how it happened, and how she tries to cope with it.

Mentally Ellen's character is really messed up, so she goes on her own adventure (not a happy one) and meets several people, some of which aren't as nice as they say they are. If anything, this movie shows how messed up and unreliable people can be.

The storyline is honestly not THAT confusing to follow- it's just the tricky way it was presented that makes it seem harder to follow than it really is. You'll understand plenty of things that are taking place, but some things might leave you sitting there scratching your head.

Like I said before, the story won me over by the end once I made the necessary adjustment to the tricky presentation. I can see myself watching future movies in a similar style. I think it's a kind of unique film making strategy that just needs time and patience in order to get used to it.

Overall, Ellen's character is always a delight to watch, and she definitely didn't disappoint here. Enjoyable, moving storyline, and worth watching.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ellen Page at her finest, August 1, 2008
This review is from: The Tracey Fragments (DVD)
This is one of Ellen Page's best performances. If you loved her in any movie, then you should definitely see this one! The truth she brings to the struggle of her character, along with the innovative techniques used to tell the story, make for a performance that leaves you speechless. This movie is like nothing you have seen before.
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14 of 21 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Self Indulgent Film Maker Ruins What Could Have Been, February 28, 2009
This review is from: The Tracey Fragments (DVD)
Ellen Page is a wonderful and talented actor, make no mistake about it. I picked this film up because of her involvement. Indeed, her performance is nothing short of amazing which is pretty much what I have come to expect. She delivers consistently to a strong storyline about a teenager who struggles with life and her place in it. Everything that would make a great film is present in this one with one very important exception. When the film reaches us, the buying and interested public, it comes with split screens that never stop. I stayed with the movie from beginning to end and found myself hoping that the split screen stuff would end after the opening credits but it did not. The presentation of the story gets diluted by this rather disjointed method of delivery. Rather than enhancing our understanding of what is going on and supporting the acting in a non-obtrusive way, the camera/split screen "technique" draws attention unto itself as if the film maker wanted to play a bigger role than that of the actors or for that matter, a bigger role than the story itself. What I am sure passes for art to the film maker is nothing more than a loud obtrusive person at a party where everyone is forced to accommodate the show off rather than to just enjoy the party. The storyline is forced upon us in an unpleasant array of screens which with a little work on the part of the audience, pieces the story together but does not afford an enjoyable experience all told. I felt like I had endured the movie at ending credits. The one positive element of The Tracey Fragments with which I walked away is the confidence that his method of presenting talented acting and a great story is not revolutionary. We won't be subjected to this kind of ego driven film making as a rule because it just doesn't work. And neither does this film.
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The Tracey Fragments
The Tracey Fragments by Bruce McDonald (DVD - 2008)
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