English German
Quick Links
Info

The opinions, comments and viewpoints expressed in articles are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the webmaster.

All press articles are still under copyright from the original source and provided for entertainment purposes and research only. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for your own purposes beyond the 'fair use' exception, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.


» Picking through the pieces of a teen's broken life

by Wesley Morris, Globe Staff, published on June 27, 2008

It's called "The Tracey Fragments," and it's not kidding. The movie is made of a million little visual and sonic pieces - a lot of which feature Ellen Page - flung onto the screen to play simultaneously. So you can watch a depressed Page walk in distress down a dark, cold Ontario street not once but four times at the same time.

Formally, the effect is like watching really cinematic confetti. Culturally, it suggests that when iThings sleep they dream of Ellen Page. Dramatically, it's like an epic trailer for the most avant-garde After School Special ever. But it's rarely even that convincing.

The gist of the proceedings is that 15-year-old Tracey Berkowitz has got the blues. Her little brother is missing. Her father blames her. Her mother chain-smokes her head off. The kids at school mock her flat chest and her vague androgyny. And she spends an excessive amount of time riding around town on city buses, sometimes wrapped in a curtain talking right to the camera.

While she's doing that, the shards of screen might, in the name of ambience, display a snow globe, a bra, a crow, a tree, treetops, branches, more treetops, a comic strip, baby dolls, action figures, a cake, a clown, or street lamps. None of these images brought me closer to Tracey, but they did make me wonder whether I could use my Mac to remix somebody else's life. This fractured sort of storytelling can work - see Duncan Roy's "AKA," Jonathan Caouette's "Tarnation," a few of the films of Steven Soderbergh, or even parts of Mike Figgis's "Timecode." This just isn't one of those times.

The trouble with the film, which opens today at the Brattle, is not the experiment, it's that the director, Bruce McDonald, never settles on an emotional tone. Maureen Medved's screenplay, based on her novel, wallows in TV drama meltdowns (oh the screaming) and a parody of those same emotions (most of the cast appears to be playing cartoons). Every once in a while, a decent idea surfaces, like staging the scenes between Tracey and her transvestite shrink (Julian Richings, who's oddly effective) in a vast white space or putting Page in bright colors and a blond wig that brings out the Warhol in her.

She's playing another of the sort of wryly addled teens that have made her a hero. This one is characteristically snide. ("I don't cry over spilled milk," Tracey says. "I don't even like milk. I'm lactose intolerant.") But, in a new show of actressy hysterics, Page pulls out all the stops. She's an amazing combination: the Bizarro Natalie Wood and the Bizarro Wednesday Addams.

Imagine how much more interesting John Hughes's movies would have been if all those girls were played by her. That would be a real experiment.

Rating: 2 out of 4

Source: www.boston.com

Printerfriendly version · Read 2915 times

Last Update: 08/29/2019 Twitter  Facebook  YouTube  Instagram  Tumblr  Privacy Policy GDPR  HiStats © 2006-2019 TeamEPO
news ellenpage career media interact site web fancorner profile biography quotes factsandtrivia faqs filmography demoreel awards charity otherprojects gallery videoclips audioclips messageboard fanarts fanlisting guestbook links listedat affiliates aboutepo changelog contact epofaqs legalnotice