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Tracey Berkowitz (Ellen Page) is a 15 year old girl searching for her 9-year-old brother, Sonny, who thinks he's a dog. The movie opens with her riding in the back of the bus, wrapped in a shower curtain, and explains how she got there through a series of anachronic flashbacks.
Notable for being filmed entirely in Mondrian multi-frame compositions, otherwise known as split-screen. The "fragments" of the title are literal as well as figurative.
In a interesting movie promotion tactic, the director made available all the raw footage that they shot for the movie as torrent downloads for fans to re-edit, and the best edits got released on the DVD.
This movie provides examples of:
- All Men Are Perverts: Tracey seems to hold this opinion:
"Men buy girls' panties. Myra Bernie told me. Girls in school like me. Unpopular girls, girls with big tits, girls with regular tits, and girls with no tits at all. The men don't even care. Panties just come out of a machine like a chocolate bar. The men take them home and cuddle them like a little kitten."
- Anachronic Order
- Angst: Tracy has quite a bit of this.
- Attempted Rape: When Tracey is at Lance's, a thug comes into his apartment and beats him up. When he tries to rape Tracey, she slashes his face with a bottle and runs away. This is how she got the shower curtain.
- Break the Cutie: Comes pre-broken.
- California Doubling: An unusual example - Hamilton and Brantford double for Winnipeg, a city more accustomed to doubling for other cities.
- Cameo: George Stroumboulopoulos has a short cameo as himself.
- Country Matters: Tracey calls her psychiatrist a "robot cunt."
- Dark and Troubled Past: Tracey's home life is extremely dysfunctional.
- Deadpan Snarker
- Downer Ending: Your Mileage May Vary though. There was a bit of a Hope Spot in both the book and the movie.
- Fauxlosophic Narration
- Gainax Ending: It is unknown whether Tracey is still searching for her brother, or if she had just lost the will to live.
- Hallucinations: Tracey has many fantasies, the most prominent of which involves herself and Billy Zero falling in love and becoming famous rock stars. In real life, he barely pays attention to her, until the day they have sex in his car, which is "coincidentally" the same day her brother goes missing.
- Imagine Spot: There are quite a few parts that are these (like the "Tracy Berkowitz Story" bit). However, some are melded into the main story, adding to Tracy's status as an unreliable narrator.
- Kids Are Cruel: Tracey's classmates, who torment her and call her "it" due to her undeveloped body, implying that she is neither male nor female.
- Sanity Slippage: Even before Tracey loses her brother, she doesn't seem that mentally stable...
- Split Screen: The entire movie is this. There are at least two "windows" into Tracey's memories open at any one time, usually many more.
- Troubled but Cute: Billy Zero.
- Unreliable Narrator: Tracey's mental state is... not the best.