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Fragments (2008)

Winged Creatures (original title)
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A group of strangers form a unique relationship with each other after surviving a random shooting at a Los Angeles diner.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Marty Maguire ...
Gunman
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Lori Carline
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Dr. Dan Howland (as James LeGros)
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Storyline

In an ordinary day, a deranged man has a rampage in a diner and randomly shoots the customers. The survivors of the tragic episode are deeply affected by the shooting and have the most different reactions: the youngster, Anne Hagen, becomes popular at school telling her version of the shooting; her friend Jimmy Jaspersen becomes mute and closes himself to the outer world; the waitress Carla Davenport neglects her baby and has several vulgar relationships with men; Dr. Bruce Laraby loses his self-confidence and tries an experimental treatment to the migraine of his wife; and the compulsive gambler Charlie Archenault believes that he is lucky in the game and gambles all his money but he has a jinx. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

One moment shattered their lives. See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violent content, sexuality and language | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

26 February 2009 (Hong Kong)  »

Also Known As:

Fragments  »

Filming Locations:

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Director Rowan Woods was rumored to have said that Dakota Fanning was difficult to work with and to have claimed he ended up cutting many of her scenes. The director released a statement denying these rumors. See more »

Quotes

Anne Hagen: God knows they were brave, Jimmy. Dad smiled down at me like he didn't have a care in the world. God wants you to be brave. You can be too. God can help you see into the hearts of everyone who fell, like I do. His witness, which you are too.
Jimmy Jaspersen: [pointing the gun at her] So witness, but tell what you really saw! Tell it!
Doris Hagen: [timidly approaching] Jimmy, this is dangerous. Whatever you two think you have to hide, it's not worse than...
Jimmy Jaspersen: Tell it.
Doris Hagen: Annie.
Anne Hagen: [takes a shaky breath, beginning to cry] I saw Dad. And...
[...]
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Soundtracks

Got You on My Shoulder
Lyrics by Debrah Neal
Music by Roy Freirich
Performed by Debrah Neal
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User Reviews

 
Doesn't quite take flight
1 July 2009 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

A popular place to die in America is sitting in a diner. I only know this because of countless movies where people go into a diner, ostensibly for a cup of coffee, but basically so they can get shot. You think I'm kidding. They don't really go into diners to get shot. They go into diners so they can be immortalised in movies when they get shot. Remembered by millions. Either way, they get shot, and hopefully something else happens to make it interesting.

Fragments follows the lives of various people after one such incident in a diner. One woman becomes obsessively promiscuous. One man is convinced he has a miraculous power of luck at the casino tables. One teenager becomes obsessed with born-again Christianity. Another stops speaking. 24/7. The life of the waitress in the diner. The man who held the door open on the way out and let the killer in. Everyone is affected in different ways. Beneath the placid exteriors there is deep sorrow needing to come out.

At least that's the story. It is, unfortunately, only mildly interesting. Both the youngsters are played by charismatic individuals. Forest Whitaker works overtime to imbue his lamentable character with something worth watching. Kate Beckinsale is easy on the eye, even playing neurotically bedraggled. The list of names goes on, and includes many actors worthy of better material than this.

We tend in the UK to give bereavement short shrift. An hour or so over cheese and ham sandwiches at the funeral – then like any trauma that goes with it – it's supposed to be over. But although the American tradition is better at giving death its due, it is also more fond of the psychoanalyst's couch. And endlessly obsessing over one's worries. And endlessly expecting us to care. 'Get over it,' is not something a sensitive person would ever think, much less say to a friend. That each of these people eventually find an exit from their vicious cycle of senseless sorrow is more down to the determination to spin it out to feature length and then cut before we wonder what would happen if they had any real problems.

I would like to be more sympathetic to such navel gazing as eulogised in Fragments. But if the characters are in any way believable, it is very, very sad that they are so. This is an ensemble performance in the psychopathology of feeling over-dramatically sorry for oneself. Of being at the mercy of circumstances. In a frankly tedious, self-indulgent, predictably downward spiral of a film.

The movie is nicely bookended, starting with scenes of an abandoned kitchen montaged with respectable surburbania. It is meant to convey a suggestion that these horrors happen to 'nice' people too. The treatment of the two iconic US derangements – guns and religion – is refreshingly non-judgemental and manages a balancing act that neither supports nor opposes. The production values are generally good and it has the advantage of being a mainstream weepie that is neither sugary nor patronising towards the audience. The drama is well-paced, and if you can tolerate the storyline there is no reason why you shouldn't effortlessly while away some time in front of it (if my hard-hearted reservations haven't put you off).

From the viewpoint of dedicated cinema-goers, violence in diners has good and bad points. On the plus side, we get a lot of great movies. Like History of Violence. Or Natural Born Killers. And more gangster films than holes in Al Capone's raincoat. But of course there's sadness too. Subjecting your loved ones to Fragments would be a prime example.


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