Thursday, July 3, 2008

The Tracey Fragments DVD

DVD Review by Kam Williams

Headline: DVD Features Ellen Page as Another Troubled Teen

When we last saw Ellen Page, she was delivering her Oscar-nominated performance as Juno, a terminally-hip smart aleck who frustrated her parents by making light of her pregnancy after being knocked-up by a boy she barely knew. Now the talented young actress is back in another title role as another troubled teen from another dysfunctional nuclear family, except she’s not cracking any jokes.
As Tracey Berkowitz, she plays a clinically-depressed 15 year-old in crisis who hates herself, wants to be raped and murdered, and suspects that she might be going insane to boot. The source of her despair starts with her emotionally-distant mother (Erin McMurtry), a chain-smoking, substance-abusing couch potato and her failure of a father (Ari Cohen) who takes his daughter to a drag queen psychiatrist (Julian Richings).
Life is just as bad for Tracey at school where her cruel classmates call her everything from “Geek Girl” to “Slutty Pants.” Given all of the above, it’s not much of a surprise that at the point of departure we’d find her wrapped naked in a shower curtain and riding around Toronto on the back seat of a bus, claiming to be looking for the little brother (Zie Souwand) she’s hypnotized into believing he’s a dog.
But because The Tracey Fragments is a flashback flick, most of the movie is devoted to showing exactly why the waifish Ms. Berkowitz went berserk as she meanders about the metropolis mumbling to herself in a rage. Director Bruce McDonald deserves high praise for the chance he takes, here, departing from convention by experimenting with split screens for the duration of his claustrophobic psychodrama. The dizzying cinematic technique works, making for a viewing experience that is as convincing as it is unsettling.
Juno’s crazy twin sister!

Excellent (3.5 stars)
Running time: 77 minutes
Studio: THINKfilm Company
DVD Extras: “The Making of” featurette.

To see a trailer of The Tracey Fragments, visit:

1 comment:

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