Not surprisingly, Ellen Page’s power as a box office draw has skyrocketed since we all fell in love with her as Juno. (Don’t tell me if you didn’t love Juno because I won’t believe you anyway.)
The Tracey Fragments, which captured attention at 2007’s Atlantic and Berlin film festivals and garnered Page the Best Actress in a Canadian Film award from the Vancouver Film Critics Circle, finally will have its U.S. release on May 9.
Page plays Tracey Berkowitz, a 15-year-old who’s riding out a blizzard in the back of a city bus, wearing nothing but a shower curtain. She’s looking for her brother Sonny, whom she hypnotized into believing he’s a dog. The movie uses complex Mondrian-style multi-frame editing throughout the entire movie to convey Tracey’s fragmented thoughts as she tells her story.
To some reviewers, the technique makes the film somewhat disjointed. But it also reflects Tracey’s confusion. As Liz Braun put it in her review, “The Tracey Fragments is a film that gets right inside the mind of an adolescent girl. Why you’d want to go there in the first place remains a mystery.”
But even critics that weren’t thrilled with the technique agree that Page turns in another stellar performance. According to Cinematical, “You name it, she conquers: from the cursing, to the partial nudity, to the attempted rape, Page pumps every inch of her soul into the role. And boy, does she get it right.”
It’s a good thing she does, since she’s in almost every frame of the movie. The film’s comic relief comes in the form of Tracey’s government-subsidized therapist (Julian Richings), who conducts his sessions in drag. I love how this shot captures the pain and absurdity of the situation.
An interesting side note: during the promotion for the film’s release in Canada, the distributor uploaded all of the original footage from The Tracey Fragments to torrent files and encouraged people to re-edit the footage. The entries ranged from music videos to trailers to a complete re-edit of the film in a linear format, without split screens. You can see the results here.
The Tracey Fragments will screen at several film festivals leading up to its wide release. When it comes to Dallas, I intend to be there. The chance to see multiple Ellen Pages onscreen at the same time is just too good to pass up.
How about you? Do movies like this give you a headache? Or are you always ready for one more Page?