6.2/10
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50 user 62 critic

The Tracey Fragments (2007)

Trailer
1:31 | Trailer
15-year-old Tracey Berkowitz is naked under a shower curtain at the back of a bus, looking for her little brother Sonny, who thinks he's a dog.

Director:

Bruce McDonald

Writers:

Maureen Medved, Maureen Medved (novel)
6 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ellen Page ... Tracey Berkowitz
Maxwell McCabe-Lokos ... Lance (as Max McCabe - Lokos)
Ari Cohen ... Mr. Berkowitz
Erin McMurtry Erin McMurtry ... Mrs. Berkowitz
Zie Souwand Zie Souwand ... Sonny Berkowitz
Stephen Amell ... Detective
Leonard Dunbar Leonard Dunbar ... Laughing Man
Chris Ratz Chris Ratz ... Donut Shop Cashier
Daniel Fathers ... Elegant Pimp Daddy
Ryan Cooley ... David Goldberg
Jeffrey Bornstein Jeffrey Bornstein ... The Boy With Curious Hair
Jackie Brown Jackie Brown ... Mrs. Dorchester the Teacher
Kate Todd ... That Knockout Bitch Debbie Dodge
Slim Twig ... Billy Zero
Julian Richings ... Dr. Heker
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Storyline

Tracey Berkowitz, 15, a self-described normal girl, loses her 9-year old brother, Sonny. In flashbacks and fragments, we meet her overbearing parents and the sweet, clueless Sonny. We watch Tracey navigate high school, friendless, picked on and teased. She develops a thing for Billy Zero, a new student, imagining he's her boyfriend. We see the day she loses Sonny and we watch her try to find him. In bits and pieces, we see what leads up to her riding in the back of a city bus wrapped in a shower curtain. Coming of age, or just surviving? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Something's Missing...

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong language throughout, some sexual content and violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Canada

Language:

English

Release Date:

21 February 2008 (Greece) See more »

Also Known As:

Tracey See more »

Filming Locations:

Hamilton, Ontario, Canada See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

CAD 750,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$17,220 (Canada), 11 November 2007, Limited Release

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,002, 11 May 2008, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$31,576, 18 May 2008
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Filmed in just 14 days, but took 9 months to edit. See more »

Quotes

Tracey Berkowitz: This is the story of the girl with no tits. Went to my school. No tits. Big dumb moon face.
See more »

Connections

References He Got Game (1998) See more »

Soundtracks

hHallmark
With Charles Spearin, Ohad Benchetrit (as Ohad Bechetrit), Kevin Drew,
Brendan Canning
Written by Broken Social Scene
Courtesy of Arts & Crafts
See more »

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User Reviews

 
gimmicky but sometimes compelling indie drama
25 August 2009 | by Roland E. ZwickSee all my reviews

If it's true, as Marshall McLuhan has suggested, that the medium is indeed the message, then "The Tracey Fragments" proves that theory in spades. This highly idiosyncratic work has as its focal point "Tracey Berkowitz - 15 - just another girl who hates herself" - a description that comes straight from the mouth of Ms. Berkowitz herself. Tracey is a deeply unhappy youngster who hates her (admittedly horrible) parents, is terrorized by all the "cool" kids in school for insufficient mammary-gland development, spends most of her nights riding the subway, hooks up with a psychotic lowlife who turns out to be a drug dealer, and searches for her little brother whom she's hypnotized into thinking he's a dog and who goes missing by a frozen river when she's supposed to be watching out for him. To help mitigate her misery, Tracey also dreams of having a relationship with a brooding "emo" bad boy at school and fantasizes that she is a famous, universally worshipped rock star.

But it is not Tracey's story that is of primary interest here; rather it's the cut-and-paste film-making style director Bruce McDonald has employed to create a sense of fragmentation and dislocation in the viewer - intended, obviously, to mirror the highly chaotic and disordered nature of Tracey's world and life. With rare exceptions, the screen is occupied by as few as two and as many as a dozen shots at a time, often portraying the same sequence from slightly different angles or at slightly different moments in time, or portraying thematically related scenes simultaneously. The question inevitably arises, is the approach effective in what it's trying to accomplish or does it serve as a distancing device for those of us who are trying to enter into Tracey's mind and world. I imagine that different viewers will come to varying verdicts on that point.

Personally, I appreciate what McDonald is trying to do here more than I admire it. "The Tracey Fragments," which Maureen Medved has adapted from her own novel, offers many probing insights into the subject of teenage angst, particularly as regards the tremendous pressure modern young people are put under to "measure up" and conform to some arbitrarily agreed-upon social standard. And "Juno"'s Ellen Page gives a stunning performance as the young woman caught in an ever-tightening web of self-hatred (this is, in many ways, the darker side of "Juno," and Page is much less mannered in this role).

But, frankly, the movie probably would have been more moving and involving without all the migraine-inducing imagery which succeeds mainly in throwing us out of the story. In fact, there is only one scene in which the split screen technique actually serves a narrative purpose - and that is when Tracey is hiding behind a curtain while her drug-dealer friend is being savagely beaten by the irate boss to whom he owes money. Most of the rest of the time, the approach feels more like a gimmick designed to separate this film from the rest of the "distressed-teen indie" pack than an artistically viable choice in its own right.

Still, if you can get past all the artiness and visual distraction, you might just find in "The Tracey Fragments" a thoughtful, sensitive and ineffably sad glimpse into a young woman's heart.


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