In my opinion, as a canadian, that canadian filmmakers in both movies and tv can do two things great. Firstly, we can make great comedy movies and sketch comedy and secondly, we can make great kid shows. We can make average documentaries, but we are least famous for our dramas. Now some may get pissy and say that there are great dramatic canadian directors and I am not denying that, its just the aforementioned two things are what we are more famous for. The Trotsky is possibly the best Canadian movie in years and it is always witty and brought up by its talented lead actor and its great premise.
For those who don't know who Leon Trotsky was, he was a russian leader that along with Lenin got communism started in Russia. Leon Bronstein believes he is the reincarnation of said man and wishes to live out his life exactly the same way as the Trotsky did. He joins his school's student union and tries to start a revolution to get the students properly unionized. He has to face his school's oppressive principal and his blood-sucking concubine Ms. Davis. He also has to do this while trying to convince an older woman named Alexandra to marry him (p.s. Leon Trotsky in actuality did marry an older woman named Alexandra).
Our main character is played wonderfully by charming Canadian actor Jay Baruchel. He really encapsulates the neuroticism in his character and the best thing about Leon Bronstein is that he takes himself seriously. He actually believes in hat he's doing and actually believes that he is the reincarnation of Trotsky. He believes he is destined to live Trotsky's life and that's what makes him more believable and more sympathetic. Any time someone made fun of him for doing what he does, you wanted to give him a hug and say that its going to be okay. He also tried hard at pursuing Alexandra and by the end you just want him to win.
Jay Baruchel is easily the best actor in the movie, but he's backed up by a bunch of wonderful canadian actors like Emily Hampshire and Colm Feore. It's a shame that this will probably never reach widespread fame because some of the lesser known actors could be really good and become household names. This is also one of those movies that you really have to pay attention to the dialogue because its incredibly witty and tongue-in-cheek, much like a Coen brothers film. Needless to say it is an incredibly witty movie, one of the wittiest I have ever seen. In fact, this movie is going on my favourite movies list which I will now have to expand further.
If you haven't seen the Trotsky, its probably in blockbusters outside Canada and its definitely worth a rental. A piece of film we Canadians can be proud of strengthened by a great actor who has not forgotten his roots. Its a shame that this got limited release, but its also a blessing because it isn't watered down for mainstream American audiences. No offense to those in the US, but I'm just trying to make a point. I would recommend this to absolutely anyone, and you don't really have to have extensive knowledge of Trotsky or the Russian Revolution to watch and laugh. All in all, one of my new personal favourites.
THE TROTSKY Written and Directed by Jacob Tierney Starring Jay Baruchel, Emily Hampshire, Ricky Mabe, Colm Feore and Saul Rubinek Anne Bronstein: Leon! Supper! Leon Bronstein: One minute! Anne Bronstein: You can finish your little revolution after dinner. If you met a teenager who genuinely believed that he was the reincarnation of the Bolshevik revolutionary and Marxist theorist, Leon Trotsky, what do you think you would do with him? Do you … more
Montreal West high school student Leon Bronstein believes that he is the reborn incarnation of Marxist/Bolshevik leader Leon Trotsky. Shortly after he starts to work in his family's clothing factory, he attempts to unionize the workplace with such actions as a hunger strike. He is pulled from his upper-class private school by his father and sent to the public school system. There, he continues his quest to live out Trotsky's activism, as he is pitted against the strong-willed principal Mr. Berkhoff. Meanwhile, he seeks romance with older graduate student Alexandra.