03 September 2008

three days of ellen page

The three-day Ellen Page marathon wasn't planned. It just sort of: happened.

At any rate, I found myself considering the deeper contexts of each of these three films; The Tracey Fragments, Smart People & Juno. Page has been dubbed outcast in each role- her youngish face, petite bust (is that being generous?) and sassy voice. The staples are there- but could they be swung in another direction?

I view Page as emerging into the film industry much like a Molly Ringwald of her generation. But in giving her that compliment, she'd have to own up to a new role: popular girl. Think Molly Ringwald in The Breakfast Club versus her marginalized character in Pretty in Pink.

I'm not discounting Page's talent, but rather disagreeing with her being dubbed as a Holden Caufield, as the director of The Tracey Fragments aimed to have her perceived. Outcast sure, but not of Caufield's caliber. She's not throwing the kids back in the Rye Field, but rather, she is losing them. Or did her brother ever exist in The Tracey Fragments? I'd like to consider Sonny (her kid brother) as a metaphor of her loss of childhood. Shortly after he is "lost" she is nearly raped, then allows a high school crush to take her in his car, then push her into the street when he was finished with her.

The director further mentions in the Special Features of the disk that he thought of her character as strong. I'm going to have to disagree, rather passionately. Page's character methodically allows nearly everyone that she encounters in the film to push her around or take advantage of her. She resists ever so slightly with her parents and a convenient store attendant, but when given even the slightest rebuttal, she succumbs to their commands.

I viewed Page's choice to ride buses as a motif for her lack of strength, decision making and control over her own life. Essentially, she relies on the decision of the driver and the pre-determined route to guide her day, much like those that she encounters or is woven into.

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