The Trotsky (2009) Poster

The Trotsky (2009)

  • Rate: 6.8/10 total 2,577 votes 
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Runtime: 120 min
  • Filming Location: Montréal, Québec, Canada
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Trailer: The Trotsky — Feature Narrative, 2009 The Trotsky (Trailer español) The Trotsky Trailer [old] Boredom in  The Trotsky full movie part 1 The Trotsky Movie Trailer 

The Trotsky (2009)


The Trotsky 2009tt1295072.jpg poster

  • IMDb page: The Trotsky (2009)
  • Rate: 6.8/10 total 2,577 votes 
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Runtime: 120 min
  • Filming Location: Montréal, Québec, Canada
  • Budget: $CAD6,400,000(estimated)
  • Director: Jacob Tierney
  • Stars: Liane Balaban, Jay Baruchel and Taylor Baruchel
  • Original Music By: Malajube   
  • Sound Mix: Dolby SR
  • Plot Keyword: School | Student | Hunger Strike | Union | Trotsky

Writing Credits By:

  • Jacob Tierney (written by)

Known Trivia

  • 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.
  • Director Jacob Tierney learned about Leon Trotsky as a child, and became fascinated with the Russian figure and his life.
  • Jay Baruchel’s sister, Taylor Baruchel, not only has a supporting role in this film, but shares a birthday with the real Leon Trotsky.

Plot: Leon Bronstein is not your average Montreal West high school student. For one thing, none of his peers… See more » |  »

Story: 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.Written by Alliance Films  

FullCast & Crew

Produced By:

  • Isabella Salas known as assistant producer
  • Kevin Tierney known as producer

FullCast & Crew:

  • Liane Balaban known as Nadza
  • Jay Baruchel known as Leon Bronstein
  • Taylor Baruchel known as School Girl #2
  • Dan Beirne known as Dan
  • Domini Blythe known as Mrs. Davis
  • Jonathan Bosco known as Horne (Kid in Costume)
  • Hélène Bourgeois Leclerc known as Female Cop
  • Justin Bradley known as Jimmy
  • Geneviève Bujold known as Denise Archambault
  • Anne-Marie Cadieux known as Anne Bronstein
  • Jesse Camacho known as Skip
  • Cecile Cristobal known as Reporter Haiyan Zhang
  • Darren Curtis known as Taxi Driver
  • Paul Doucet known as Male Cop
  • Paul Dufaux known as Homeless Person
  • Colm Feore known as Principal Berkhoff
  • Angela Galuppo known as Sheila
  • Kyle Gatehouse known as School Boy
  • Alain Goulem known as Police Chief (as Al Goulem)
  • Dan Haber known as Achmed
  • Emily Hampshire known as Alexandra Leith
  • Trevor Hayes known as Stage Hand
  • David Julian Hirsh known as Eli Bronstein
  • Kaniehtiio Horn known as Caroline (as Tiio Horn)
  • Pat Kiely known as Julien
  • Sarah-Jeanne Labrosse known as School Girl #1
  • Ricky Mabe known as Tony
  • Linda Malo known as Marie
  • Michael Murphy known as Frank McGovern
  • Jessica Paré known as Laura
  • Tommie-Amber Pirie known as Sarah Bronstein
  • Jesse Rath known as Dwight
  • Erika Rosenbaum known as Becca
  • Saul Rubinek known as David Bronstein
  • Paul Spence known as History Teacher
  • Jacob Tierney known as V.I. (Lenin)
  • Kevin Tierney known as David Bronstein's Partner
  • Jacklin Webb known as Principal Berkhoff's Secretary
  • Troy Michael known as Himself (as Baby Troy)
  • Mary L. Milne known as Herself (as Mary Milne)
  • Ben Mulroney known as Himself
  • Cara Reynolds known as Carmen Miranda
  • Jesse Vinet known as Private School Girl # 2
  • Anthony Ecclissi known as Che Guevara / Student (uncredited)
  • Li Li known as Private School Girl #1 (uncredited)



Supporting Department

Makeup Department:
  • Chantal Bergeron known as assistant hair stylist
  • Kathy Kelso known as assistant makeup artist
  • Raymonde Laliberté known as assistant hair stylist: daily
  • Martin Lapointe known as key hair stylist
  • Magali Métivier known as assistant makeup artist: daily
  • Colleen Quinton known as key makeup artist

Art Department:

  • Elisabeth Bastien-Siry known as assistant set props: daily
  • Myriam Bergeron-Fournier known as assistant set props
  • Stéphane Caron known as scenic technician
  • Marc-Antoine Choquette known as scenic technician (as Marc Choquette)
  • Guillaume Couture known as prop buyer
  • Isabelle Côté known as graphic designer
  • Gabrielle Desbrosiers known as art department assistant
  • Jean Desroches known as scenic technician
  • Yann Dupond-Cubaynes known as greensman
  • Marie-Soleil Dénommé known as assistant set decorator (as Marie-Soliel Denommé)
  • Louis Gascon known as property master
  • Léa Giguère Santini known as painter
  • Vincent Giguère Santini known as painter
  • Alain Giguère known as lead scenic painter
  • Dylan La Frenière known as key greensman
  • Pascal Ménard known as swing gang
  • Éric Plante known as scenic technician (as Eric Plante)
  • Mario Santini known as painter
  • André Savard known as swing gang
  • Doris Simard known as art department coordinator
  • André Valade known as assistant set decorator




Production Companies:

  • Harold Greenberg Fund, The
  • Park Ex Pictures

Other Companies:

  • B.F. Lorenzetti & Associates  insurance provided by
  • Borden Ladner Gervais  legal services provided by
  • Cutélab Services Sonores  sound facilities
  • Eastern Script Service Inc.  research services provided by (as Eastern Script)
  • Fidel Studios  main and end title design
  • Julie Breton Casting  extras casting (as Julie Breton Extras Casting)
  • Larson Studios Los Angeles  sound facilities
  • Modulations / Technicolor  sound facilities (as Technicolor – Modulations)
  • National Bank of Canada  interim financing provided by
  • Pigfactory  music provided by
  • S.L. Feldman & Associates  music supervision
  • Technicolor  sound facilities
  • Visual Motion  camera trucks and trailers provided by
  • Weisbord Del Gaudio Iacono  auditor


  • Alliance Films (2008) (Canada) (all media)
  • Umbrella Entertainment (2010) (Australia) (theatrical)
  • Eagle Films (2009) (Non-USA) (all media) (Middle East)
  • Tribeca Film (2010) (USA) (all media)
  • Umbrella Entertainment (2010) (Australia) (TV)
  • Umbrella Entertainment (2011) (Australia) (DVD)



Other Stuff

Special Effects:

  • Vision Globale (visual effects)

Visual Effects by:

  • Mathieu Arvisais known as compositor: Vision Globale
  • Eve Brunet known as visual effects producer: Vision Globale
  • Jimmy Caron known as 3d animator: Vision Globale
  • Nathalie Dupont known as compositor: Vision Globale
  • Josiane Fradette known as project coordinator: Vision Globale
  • Olivier Goulet known as visual effects supervisor: Vision Globale
  • Jonathan Grégoire known as 3d animator: Vision Globale
  • Gael Hollard known as compositor: Vision Globale (as Gaël Hollard)
  • Evelyne Leblond known as compositor: Vision Globale
  • Tram Luong known as 3d animator: Vision Globale
  • Hugo Léveillé known as compositor: Vision Globale
  • Frederic Milot known as compositor: Vision Globale (as Frédéric Milot)
  • John Montegut known as compositor: Vision Globale
  • Philippe Roberge known as compositor: Vision Globale
  • Francis St-Denis known as 3d animator: Vision Globale
  • Patrick Tasse known as compositor: Vision Globale (as Patrick Tassé)
  • Duy Tran known as 3d animator: Vision Globale
  • Alexandra Vaillancourt known as visual effects production assistant: Vision Globale
  • Vanessa Vogel known as compositor: Vision Globale

Release Date:

  • Canada 11 September 2009 (Toronto International Film Festival)
  • Canada 26 September 2009 (Atlantic Film Festival)
  • Japan 20 October 2009 (Tokyo International Film Festival)
  • Canada 3 December 2009 (Whistler Film Festival)
  • Netherlands 30 January 2010 (International Film Festival Rotterdam)
  • USA 5 May 2010 (New York City, New York)
  • Canada 14 May 2010 (limited)
  • USA 27 May 2010 (Seattle International Film Festival)
  • Australia 25 July 2010 (Melbourne International Film Festival)
  • Greece 21 September 2010 (Athens Film Festival)
  • Netherlands 26 October 2010 (Leids Film Festival)
  • France 28 November 2010 (Paris Semaine du Cinéma du Québec)
  • Russia 16 December 2010 (DVD premiere)



Filmography links and data courtesy of The Internet Movie Database

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Posted on March 30, 2012 by admin in Movies | Tags: , .


  1. Tracy Allard from Montreal
    30 Mar 2012, 12:59 pm

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

    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 politicalconversations in general but I thoroughly enjoyed the film, from thevery first moment to the very end.

    Youth today are often accused of being apathetic and this is arecurring theme here. Other than the fact that the main character seemsa bit loopy, he remains adorable and not cartoonish as the othercommentator posted.

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

    Other than the main character, we get to see a distinct progression inthe 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 youthmay sense that there IS hope for our future.

  2. reneweddan from United States
    30 Mar 2012, 12:59 pm

    The Trotsky is a teen-comedy with a hint of Goodbye Lenin's politicalsatire and Charlie Bartlett's humour/plot. Although some of the actingseems mediocre, I enjoyed the film.

    You don't need to understand the biography of Leon Trotsky, it explainsit in a subtle way that is enough to enjoy the film, but doing researchbeforehand might be a decent idea.

    Don't take this film too seriously, just enjoy it for what it is. Itisn't like a normal film, it's sort of a modern teen-comedy aboutrevolting against injustice, although the injustice is ratherinsignificant in the grand scheme of things.

    Well-done, worth watching, but only if you have an open mind and enjoyquirky films about adolescent injustice.

  3. lewiskendell from United States
    30 Mar 2012, 12:59 pm

    "It's over. I'm not it. I'm not the man for the job."

    The Trotsky came out of absolutely nowhere. I don't even know how itappeared on my radar, but I'm glad that it did. It's quite the littlegem. 

    It's the story of a teenager (named Leon) from Montreal who believes heis the reincarnation of the Marxist leader Leon Trotsky, and believesthat his life will follow that of his predecessor exactly. Right downto exile, relationships, and even cause of death. He finds his "greatcause" in the plight of the students at the public high school that hisfather sends him too, and puts all his energy into forming a union forthem.

    I found myself getting swept up into Leon's struggle against youthapathy very quickly, because he's such a likable character. JayBaruchel plays him with his typical neurotic performance, but it works.You don't know how seriously to take him at first, but Leon believes sodeeply in who he claims to be and what he's doing, that it's easy tolet your disbelief go and just roll with it all. All the characters arepretty great, actually, and most of my enjoyment of the movie came fromtheir interactions with each other.

    So yeah, I'm recommending The Trotsky wholeheartedly. Don't immediatelywrite it off if you have no idea who Leon Trotsky is. It's just a verylikable comedy, and it puts a fresh spin on the "high school movie". Ienjoyed it. 

  4. Daniel Carkner from Vancouver, Canada
    30 Mar 2012, 12:59 pm

    I read some really bad reviews of this movie before going to see it. Inthe end, I liked it better than I thought I would. However, a lot ofthe political humour is very basic and wouldn't make sense to peoplewith more than a passing knowledge of communism, activism, etc.

    However, as a teen comedy, not to be taken seriously as a politicalfilm, it works very well for the most part. A lot of the scenes,acting, and one-liners are quite funny.

    Some of the acting done by secondary characters is not really up topar. Even Leon's character or that of his co-stars (his parents,principal, would-be wife, etc.) tend to be one-dimensional. I thinkthis film could have been improved by occasional moments ofself-reflection or doubt. As it is, Leon's character tends to comeacross as a quirky cartoon a lot of the time.

    Still, as a light form of amusement, it works quite well.

  5. BostonSt from Everywhere
    30 Mar 2012, 12:59 pm

    This is an indie flick that isn't very funny, the situations arecontrived and I thought everything was rather dull and unimaginative.The idea for the movie was however creative and the actors selleverything very nicely….but that's exactly where it ends, if you seethe first 10 minutes then you'll have seen the whole thing (wink timesavers). I think they stole the idea for the movie from an episode ofthe Wonder Years. If you are a history buff and really enjoyed thestory of Leon Trotsky in 1920's Russia then this is your movie. Lots of3-piece suit action and walking around from the main character,constantly ruminating about unions and high school, and constantlyupset with his father and lawyer. Yes, it's a wonderland of laughs!Seriously, if you have some art house friends and you want to gradeactors, this comedy is great, make sure you read the Trotskyencyclopedia page first. But if you want to laugh with your roommates,put The Big Lebowski back on.

  6. loco_73 from Canada
    30 Mar 2012, 12:59 pm

    I have always appreciated movies that make a point to acknowledge theirsetting. In English speaking Canada, some movies seem to always eschewthe fact that they are filmed in Toronto, Vancouver, Winnipeg, so on soforth.

    Instead they present some kind of vague, anonymous city, which could beANY city (the reason I know for example if a movie is shot in Toronto,is by the colour of the streetcars or buses, or a badly disguisedlandmark, as was the case with the recently released flick "Repo Men"with Jude Law). Many other times Canadians cities are made to pass asAmerican cities. While in some movies the setting/background is leftvague on purpose, according to the script, storyline etc., that isalright, but other movies that go out of their way, the saddest ofwhich are some Canadian movies/TV series themselves, to disguise thefact that they are shot in Canadian locations, is just infuriating andstupid. If it is an American production making a Canadian city pass foran American one, that is fine, they have to do that, but Canadianproductions doing that is wrong.

    That is not the case with Quebec. The Quebecois are proud (maybe tooproud) of their culture, and they don't shy away from showcasing it.They don't disguise their cities. Case in point, this movie.

    As much as it is a funny, quirky and introspectiveboy-to-man/coming-of-age tale, make no mistake, "The Trotsky" is alsoan ode to Montreal in particular and Canada in general. Anybodyfamiliar with Montreal will instantly recognize the passionate homagepaid to the city not only by the movie and its protagonist, JayBaruchel, but also the entire look, feel and atmosphere. It is not anin your face, hammer over the head thing, but a succinct and impliedtribute to the city and culture.

    The movie itself was an original and refreshing relief from theincessant wave of mediocrity washing constantly upon people's brains,waves generated by the current pop-corn summer blockbusters. The filmis touching and introspective at times, but also funny and fun to watchthroughout. Jay Baruchel manages to once again project that hapless,but doggedly determined, sweet, vulnerable, smart and in his own way,brave persona. He also did it in the "She Is Out Of My League" a goodand decent comedic effort that came out earlier this year.

    If you want to have a good time, learn something, laugh and forgetabout your trouble for awhile, then this movie is one to see! I got toadmit that at times Jay Baruchel does bear some resemblance withTrotsky himself. Oh and by the way, the interaction between Barucheland Saul Rubinek (who plays his father in the movie) is just hilariousbut also touching! A good viewing in my book!

  7. DarthVoorhees from United States
    30 Mar 2012, 12:59 pm

    I loved 'The Trotsky' it is the kind of teen comedy we seldom get, onethat acknowledges the hardships of being a teenager but that is alsovery funny and intelligent. Teens aren't stupid and it seems that manyscreenwriters think they are. 'The Trotsky' is as much a story aboutadolescences as it is about teenage brand Bolshevism.

    Leon Bronstein believes he is the reincarnation of the great hero ofthe October Revolution Leon Trotsky. I'm sold. It's a brilliant premiseand it's execution is seamless. Director Jacob Tierney asks theaudience to take a leap of faith. Leon is so convinced of his lineagethat he pursues a woman named Alexandra who is ten years older than himbecause Trotsky did so. This relationship is tricky but I think whatmakes it work is Jay Baruchel's utmost commitment to the role. He doesappear very childlike and this is essential to the brilliance of thestory. The teen years are hard and in his uncertainty he turns toTrotsky, the brilliant hero of Bolshevism who was bold and conqueredhistory. Bronstein is questioned about the unsavory details ofTrotsky's life such as his infamous murder with the 'ice pick'. The wayBaruchel responds is so brilliant, he thinks of Trotsky's life as anadventure which he gets to live through. The way Baruchel delivers thisline is funny, uplifting, and even a little sweet. Bronstein wants thewhole package; even to the point where he asks a classmate if he is "myStalin". By all means Leon Bronstein is the kind of character we wouldexpect to be beaten up by cliché jocks but the approach by both Tierneyand Baruchel is to create a character driven by passion. Bronsteinbelieves he is Trotsky to the point where others are dragged into hisfantasy and I think this satisfies some of the more questionableelements of the script.

    Not knowing about the Russian Revolution will not hurt yourappreciation of the film but it is much funnier if you have some ideaabout what went down. Tierney has done his homework and the film canbecome a great inside joke for anyone the least bit familiar withSoviet history.

  8. rosemacaskie17 from Spain
    30 Mar 2012, 12:59 pm

    An important film, the question are you inactive through boredom orapathy is central to the plot though the theme is easier for me tounderstand as, wait for things to happen or control your life. It isimportant for people to take a active part in life and in this filmLeon Bronstein finds the students letting fate do as it may with themand gets them to take a hand in their lives and the world around them.This theme appears everywhere in life and this film helps clarify it byshowing how you can change things and why you should do so. This themeappears in psychology, be responsible for what happens to you, forexample, also a woman from Africa, talking on CNN, said, you must notwait for things to happen but make them happen, a message women, moregiven to accepting their lot, need to hear. The film also links gettingthe students to take an active role at school to sexual abuse atschools, another important topic, the hero says that, had sexuallyabused children had a student union they could have stopped the abuse.Even in school people are in danger. The theme of bullying in schooland abuse is very big just now and Bronstein does face and defeatbullying not by saying things will get better, which is wishfulthinking but by effective and complicated action, which I judge to be amore real way to deal with things. rose macaskie

  9. stpx from Texas
    30 Mar 2012, 12:59 pm

    By no means should one watch this film expecting a display of artisticprofundity. For preventive measures, I should go so far as to even warnthe observant and diligent viewer that one shouldn't expect even amodestly refined film here. As it does, effectively, preserve thoseprevalent formulaic variables of film which aficionados have come todespise so vehemently: the typical roller coaster relationship; thetarget objective that always seems so very far away, yet somehow theprotagonist manages to overcome those countless obstacles and succeed;the strained relationship that concludes so predictably. It gets verytiresome, and, frankly, in the book of any wise movie goer these shouldstand out as the trademarks of ineptness. Nothing great has earned thattitle by conforming well to established routines and expectations–onewould believe a film inspired by Trotsky would understand this much.

    Nonetheless, this hardly makes the film less enjoyable, just not welldisposed to reside amongst the ranks of the truly memorable. If one isdisposed to counter-culture as I am, then one should not hesitate towatch this film, despite its many shortcomings one will laugh often andmaybe even discover some relatable experiences therein. Treat this filmas a variant of the common mass-produced comedy with a twist in thefavor of those of a progressive nature.

  10. MyrPraune from Canada
    30 Mar 2012, 12:59 pm

    I enjoyed The Trotsky, most of it anyway. I liked the fact that itdoesn't take its audience as complete illiterate and assumes that youwould catch some of the historic references. I prefer that than havingeverything spelled out for me. Jay Baruchel is just creepy enough,without becoming really scary in his obsession with being the real LeonTrotsky. I was rather uncomfortable with the relationship withAlexandra; that was one of the drawbacks of the movie. I loved theportrayal of Montreal with the English and the French intermingling inconversation and everyday life – even if it's not at all the main pointof the movie. My main critic would go to Geneviève Bujold, who plays acommissioner of the school board, or something like that. I don't thinkI've ever seen such overacting before. She was awful. I always heardpeople say how she was a great actress, well, I did not see that here.I could not stop thinking how bad she was every time she was openingher mouth. Even every gesture she was making was over the top. Anyways,she doesn't have a huge role, so it didn't really spoil the movie. Allin all, I enjoyed it and I would see it again.

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