Previously and more embarrassingly known as Winged Creatures, Fragments peers into the private lives of a dozen or so drama queens who survive a shooting spree inside a Los Angeles diner. From the grisly chaos, Dakota Fanning’s brace-faced teen emerges as a Jesus freak, seemingly planting the seeds of a potential Jonestown when she begins to creepily recruit classmates for group prayer, while a cancer-stricken schlub played by Forest Whitaker is transformed into a kissing cousin of Lost‘s Hurley, winning a hundred grand playing craps before his luck evaporates along with the halter top belonging to the whore who manipulates his cock into her mouth. Such is the level of nuance and texture on display here that Kate Beckinsale’s peroxide blonde is meant to be understood as trash because she chews gum like a cow in heat, but at least the title of Rowan Woods’s misshapen and overreaching melodrama is apt, cobbled as it is from anxiously undigested allusions to war and birds and grief. Hard to say what is more inexplicable—why Guy Pearce’s hot doc poisons his wife or how urine became a plot clincher. But this much is clear: The hell that Paul Haggis hath wrought grows exponentially by the day.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on July 28, 2009