Writer/Dir: Jacob Tierney (Twist)
Cast: Jay Baruchel, Emily Hampshire, Saul Rubinek, Anne-Marie Cadieux, Michael Murphy, Taylor Baruchel, Colm Feore, Geneviève Bujold, Kaniehtiio Horn, Ricky Mabe
Seen: January 15, 2010 at Canada's Top Ten 2009
Reason to see: Looked pretty freaking funny
I actually first heard about The Trotsky back in September 2009 when I was on my buddy Andrew's podcast, where we discussed the trailer post-TIFF'09 where somehow it missed my radar at the festival. I'm thrilled that I got to see it earlier this year at Canada's Top Ten and it certainly deserves it's place in that list of ten as it's very well done and hilarious to boot.
The film follow Leon (Jay Baruchel) a Montreal high school student who is convinced he is the re-incarnation of Russian revolutionary Leon Trotsky. Not in a mental-illness kind of convinced, but more of a genuinely-naïve-yet-overly-well-read convinced. He faces more than a few challenges and reactions on this front, from confusion to resistance to straight up manipulation but continues to stand his ground. You have to admire his persistence for that. Jay Baruchel is perfect as Leon, combining intelligent humour with perfect timing giving us a geek to love and cheer for all in one. The supporting cast is also very strong, in particular Colm Feore who shines as the snarky and authoritative Principal.
What I really loved about The Trotsky is that it showcases so many of the wonderful things about Canadian film. It's smart. It's funny. It's quirky. Often it's smart, funny and quirky all at the same time. It's about knowing you don't fit in but still doing your thing anyway - with conviction, even when everyone things your nuts. Actually, even more when people think you are nuts. I think it's especially enjoyable for Canadians, and with refreshing notes like being an English film set in Quebec, but should be accessible across the board for enthusiasts of smart humour. You'll laugh, you'll smile and heck you might even learn something.
Vive the Trotsky!
Shannon's Overall View:
I enjoyed it
I'll happily watch it again and again
I'd recommend it to fans of comedy, people curious about Canadian film, and of course to all Canadians
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© Shannon Ridler, 2010