Monday, January 2, 2012

Spoiler Alert: The Trotsky


This is another one that I watched in April for the first time, pretty much as soon as it became available on Netflix streaming. I remembered liking it a lot, so I was looking forward to watching it again.

You guys.


Leon Bronstein (Jay Barabaybay) is 17 and he believes that he is the reincarnation of Leon Trotsky. Most people think that he is insane, but this does not stop him from plowing forward with his quest to unionize his father's factory, meet Vladamir Ulianov by the time he's 21 (you know, Lenin), marry an older woman named Alexandra, and hopefully become exiled a few times before getting assassinated (hopefully somewhere warm).

That's two.

His Canadian accent? WORKING OVERTIME. I flail every time that he says "PROgress". Also? He speaks French a bit in this. HE SPEAKS FRENCH OKAY. To his stepmother, in hushed tones that imply true affection. JUST TAKE THIS AIR I NO LONGER REQUIRE IT.

His father grows more and more irritated with Leon's obsession, not realizing that it is actually his passion. That he really believes these things that Trotsky believed and will stop at nothing to get others to rise to the occasion. His sister Sarah is one of his biggest cheerleaders (this is funny because her character is actually a cheerleader, and also, she is actually Jay Baruchel's sister), and along the way he gains a funny kind of reserved support from lawyer Frank McGovern (Michael Murphy - you may not remember him as the mayor in Batman Returns). In an attempt to get him fully on board, he ends up getting introduced to graduate student Alexandra Leith (remember that thing, with the needing to marry an older woman named Alexandra, just like Trotsky?), which only strengthens his certainty that He. Is. Leon. Trotsky. 

It's just getting crazy now. I mean. THREE?
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One night during Shabbat, his dad decides that he has had enough, and after reading up on Trotsky's early years and discovering that Trotsky attended public school, he informs Leon that he will not be returning to his private school this year. Nope. Time to be educated alongside the masses. Finding himself up against the evils of Principal Berkhoff (Colm Feore KING LAUFEY IN THOR Y'ALL), he gathers a band of misfit school chums and goes about attempting to unionize the student body. The problem? Do these students merely need to be shaken from their perpetual state of boredom, or is he dealing with the dangers of apathy?


I'm not even going to tell you what happens, that's how much I love this movie. You guys, I'm serious. This movie is just so good. Even if you don't like Jay Baruchel, please watch it. His characterization is perfection.

I'm just going to stop captioning these things. Really, they should all just be labeled with keysmash.
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Number of scenes for which they needed to cover up Jay's maple leaf chest tattoo: zero (Leon is so modest you guys)

Number of times Jay did that thing, you know, where he pouts his lips and my brain explodes: 30 (!!!!)

Best thing that happened that would never happen in real high school: The Dance for Social Justice
          ("Leon, a girl dressed like Ayn Rand just told me that you threw her out?"
            ". . ."
            "This is a fascist-free zone, Dwight. Maybe you should leave as well.")

Fun Fact: Writer/Director Jacob Tierney is Jay's longtime friend - they used to be neighbors growing up. He has a small but important role in this, and also has a role in Jay's movie Good Neighbors (which I'll be watching this week). SO I GUESS THEY USED TO BE GOOD NEIGHBORS I MEAN SEE WHAT I DID THURRRRRRR?!?!?!?

Favorite Line: "Oh, I don't have detention. I'm just here in protest."

Rating, on a scale from one to ELEVEN: 9

Final Assessment: He can do more than pout and be funny. Seriously. WATCH THIS.

I mean this is just a great still, never mind the subject (OR ACTUALLY MIND HIM QUITE A LOT)


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