5.7/10
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40 user 28 critic

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:
... Carla Davenport
... Charlie Archenault
... Dr. Bruce Laraby
... Anne Hagen
... Doris Hagen
... Joan Laraby
... Ron Abler
... Jimmy Jaspersen
... Bob Jaspersen
... Lydia Jasperson
... Kathy Hammet
... Aaron Hagen
Marty Maguire ... Gunman
... Lori Carline
... 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

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You have to lose your way to find it. See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

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Release Date:

26 February 2009 (Hong Kong)  »

Also Known As:

Fragments  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Guy Pearce, who plays the American Doctor Bruce Laraby, was born in England and later moved to Australia. Embeth Davidtz, who played his British wife Joan Laraby, was born in the United States. See more »

Quotes

Bob Jaspersen: You tell 'em I say fuck 'em. They think they got all the God damn answers. Fuck 'em. C'mon, fuck 'em. Gimme one, c'mon. Fuck 'em. It's all good, it's why we're here. Chopper don't gotta think about it. Chopper don't gotta talk about it. Just gotta fly. Above it all, just gotta fly.
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Soundtracks

Resistance
Written by Arthur Fitts, David Goolkasian, Josh Hager
Performed by The Elevator Drops
Courtesy of On Off Records and Optic Noise
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User Reviews

 
A very effective and accurate ensemble piece.
28 June 2008 | by See all my reviews

It's hard to be an ensemble drama in a time when the other films in this sub-genre have a very sturdy track record, with "Crash" being a Best Picture winner, "Babel" and "Traffic" being Best Picture nominees, and "Magnolia" being a cult favorite, among many other popular multi-storied films. Yes, these ensemble pieces all are quite distinctive from one another, but it's very hard to not compare them to each other, as their common goal is the same: to tell many stories and convey one focused message.

In my opinion, films like "Crash" and "Babel" are hurt by the fact that they are forced to cheat the viewers in order to come to the film's end message, whereas a film like "Magnolia" or "Traffic" arrives at it through brilliant film-making and storytelling.

Luckily, this adaptation ensemble piece manages to land itself far closer to the likes of "Magnolia" or "Traffic" than "Crash" or "Babel." While I consider that a very good thing, some may not. Some may want a film that focuses on leaving a strong emotional impact more than telling its many stories as well as possible, and they may in fact be disappointed by "Winged Creatures." But if you appreciate low-key films that are effective without hitting you over the head in any way, this film is definitely a must-see.

One of the first things praise-worthy in this ensemble film is, of course, its terrific ensemble cast. Many of these actors provide performances that prove they have more potential than I had previously thought. The film is about numerous characters who witness a murder, and the PTSD that follows them around afterward, and most of the actors have to portray a different PTSD side-effect with his or her performance, and all of them do it very well.

I never believed that Kate Beckinsale had anything to her name besides hot looks, but she plays a stressed-out mother very convincingly. After his ridiculous over-performance in "Vantage Point," I thought that Forrest Whitaker's fabulous performance in "The Last King of Scotland" may have just been a fluke. But his portrayal of a man whose luck is all over the place after the event is spot-on. As Dakota Fanning moves towards adulthood, she handles a particularly tricky (and religion-heavy) performance with ease. Heck, even Jennifer Hudson (how the hell did she win an Oscar?) gives a performance that indicates some talent, even though her role is small.

Then you get to the direction, and all that goes with it. The film moves between its stories just as well as the higher-budget, more mainstream ensemble pieces, transitioning very well without ever killing the mood with a sudden shift. The film's score adds to this , as it keeps the same feel throughout the movie, giving the film an unchanging pace and mood, so even though you're watching a bunch of stories at once, it's one wholesome experience.

I don't know if this will get recognition come Oscar time, but frankly, it doesn't need to. This is a movie that shows talent out of a lot of actors about whom you may have been skeptical, and is a very worthy addition to the ensemble piece genre.


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