The Trotsky

January 3rd, 2009


The Trotsky

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Leon Bronstein is not your average Montreal West high school student. For one thing, none of his peers...

Release Year: 2009

Rating: 6.9/10 (2,515 voted)

Critic's Score: 59/100

Director: Jacob Tierney

Stars: Liane Balaban, Jay Baruchel, Taylor Baruchel

Leon Bronstein is not your average Montreal West high school student. For one thing, none of his peers can claim to be the reincarnation of early 20th century Soviet iconoclast and Red Army hero, Leon Trotsky. When his father sends Leon to public school as punishment for starting a hunger strike at Papa's clothing factory, Leon quickly lends new meaning to the term 'student union', determined as he is to live out his pre-ordained destiny to the fullest and change the world.

Liane Balaban - Nadza
Jay Baruchel - Leon Bronstein
Taylor Baruchel - School Girl #2
Dan Beirne - Dan
Domini Blythe - Mrs. Davis
Jonathan Bosco - Horne (Kid in Costume)
Hélène Bourgeois Leclerc - Female Cop
Justin Bradley - Jimmy
Geneviève Bujold - Denise Archambault
Anne-Marie Cadieux - Anne Bronstein
Jesse Camacho - Skip
Cecile Cristobal - Reporter Haiyan Zhang
Darren Curtis - Taxi Driver
Paul Doucet - Male Cop
Paul Dufaux - Homeless Person

Taglines: Join the revolution


Official Website: Official site |

Release Date: 3 Jan 2009

Filming Locations: Montréal, Québec, Canada

Box Office Details

Budget: $CAD6,400,000 (estimated)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?

At one point in the film, Alexandra jokingly inquires if Leon intends to live out Trotsky's life 'icepick and all'. This is a reference to how Leon Trotsky died due to injuries sustained from a blow to his head from an icepick.

Factual errors: The Communist Party of Canada expelled all Trotskyists and factions in the 1920s/30s. As a result it is doubtful that Trotsky would have anywhere near the level of respect for it and its members that Leon exhibits.

Eli Bronstein: How does it feel making your family the biggest laughingstock of the city?
Leon: Half the city, Eli. The French don't care.

User Review

Not Just Another Teen Movie

Rating: 9/10

I went to see the film with no preconceived notions, having read no reviews and seen no previews, other than the one-liner in the newspaper.

I laughed very often during this hour and a half, in a good sense. Maybe it's because I'm an iconoclast, and I love political conversations in general but I thoroughly enjoyed the film, from the very first moment to the very end.

Youth today are often accused of being apathetic and this is a recurring theme here. Other than the fact that the main character seems a bit loopy, he remains adorable and not cartoonish as the other commentator posted.

On comparing this teenage flic with others, as a mature adult, I must say I liked this 10x more than even the best teenage flics, save one or two, such as Juno. The director refrains from delving TOO deeply in politics and drama, BECAUSE it's a teen flic. IMO the exact right amount of political insight was included.

Other than the main character, we get to see a distinct progression in the students' level of interest and involvement in their own destinies. This, even more than apathy, may be our society's greatest challenge, to allow youth to take part in the political game, in order that youth may sense that there IS hope for our future.


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