'The Tracey Fragments'
(Ellen Page, Julian Richings, Erin McMurtry, et al / DVD / R / (2007) 2008 / THINKFILM)p>
Overview: 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.
DVD Verdict: Adapting the screenplay from her novel of the same name, Maureen Medved gives star Ellen Page some awfully well-worn pieces of dime-store philosophy to spew up here in her early work, 'The Tracey Fragments.' Shot in Bruce McDonald's native Ontario and originally released in Canada last November, the film Page showcase that looks strange enough to almost be something more. Random shots of a cheap necklace, toy horses, and a tiny noose are all well and good, but their randomness seems unable to conjure up any feeling except that of "dude, this is totally random". Indeed, the imagery is self-conscious chic enough to be noticeable but is unable to cull together meaning or even merry bewilderment.
Infused as in such a manner to be a 21st century variation on 'The Catcher in the Rye,' when the viewer first meets Tracey (Page), she is sitting naked in the back of a bus with only a flimsy shower curtain to guard her from the elements. Tracey is the broken product of an unstable home; her father (Ari Cohen) regards his children as "accidents," and her catatonic mother (Erin McMurtry) only pauses from watching television long enough to light up another cigarette.
Upon discovering that a botched hypnosis experiment between Tracey and her younger brother, Sonny, has left the young boy emotionally transformed into a canine, the decision is made to send Tracey to a psychiatrist. Tormented by her classmates and lost in fantasies about her boyfriend and rock & roll savior Billy Zero (Slim Twig), the emotionally complex young woman has become enamored with a new student at school who doesn't even realize she exists.
Later, when Sonny disappears, Tracey takes it upon herself to locate her missing sibling and make sure that he finds his way back home. While at first it appears that benevolent rent boy Lance (Maxwell McCabe-Lokos) may be her guiding light through the darkened city streets, Tracey quickly learns that to trust is to place your life in the hands of someone who may sell you out at a moment's notice.
Now naked and desperate in the middle of a labyrinthine metropolitan nightmare, Tracey makes it her mission to find Sonny no matter how harrowing her quest may become. Basically, 'The Tracey Fragments' is a movie that plays with your mind, but not for common, plot-driven reasons. See tis movie today for proof that the little indie that would ... actually could! This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:
Behind-the-Scenes Interview and Footage with Bruce McDonald and Ellen Page
Winner of the Tracey: Re-Fragmented Contest, Joel Norn
Short-Listed Entries from the Tracey: Re-Fragmented Contest
The Single Frame, a selection of images on set and behind the scenes by photographer Matt O'Sullivan