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Spinning Boris (2003)

R  |   |  Comedy, Drama  |  23 October 2003 (USA)
6.7
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 846 users  
Reviews: 25 user | 3 critic

Russian political elite hires American consultants to help with President Yeltsin's re-election campaign when his approval rating is down to single digits.

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Title: Spinning Boris (2003)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Felix Braynin (as Boris Krutonog)
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Vladimir Radian ...
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Konstantin Kazakov ...
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Maria Syrgiannis ...
Female Journalist
Ola Sturik ...
Post Office Clerk
Gillian Vanderburgh ...
Dick Dresner's Wife
Serge Timokhin ...
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Storyline

Early in 1996, three Republican campaign operatives take a job in secret assisting Boris Yeltsin's reelection. Once in Moscow, they find he's polling at 6 percent with the election a few months away. While Dick Dresner wants to go home, George Gorton and Joe Shumate vote to stay. First, they must get someone's attention; they succeed finally with Yeltsin's daughter. Then it's polling, focus groups, messages and spin. Even as Yeltsin's numbers go up, the trio are unsure who hired them and whether Yeltsin's allies have a different plan in mind than election victory. When the going gets toughest, it's Gorton who puts a spin on our stake: democracy and capitalism must win. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Electing a Russian president the American way.

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

23 October 2003 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Yeltsin Project  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The scene where Shumate (played by Liev Schreiber) is stacking furniture against the door of his hotel is something that really happened, and happened more than once. The consultants' paranoia is well founded. During the 1996 election cycle in Russia, the campaign manager for the mayor of St. Petersburg had acid thrown in his face, and the running mate for the mayor of Moscow was critically injured in a car bomb. See more »

Goofs

In one of the first scenes, the white cathedral with the golden domes (Cathedral of Christ the Saviour) is depicted in the background. However, this cathedral was destroyed 1931 and rebuilt in 2000. By 1996, the new dome was not yet completed. See more »

Quotes

Joe Shumate: I know what you're thinking.
George Gorton: Do you? Then you're about to go f**k yourself.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Brilliant!
19 March 2004 | by (Hollywood) – See all my reviews

Can't believe I haven't caught this flick until now. Glad the Europeans seem to like it (except one, but he doesn't like anything).

Spinning Boris certainly rates a higher score than 7. The production values

  • photography, sets, locations, sound - are faultless, as are the pacing,


the length, the script, the casting and the direction. And believe me, I was watching for gaffs.

It's been a long time since I've laughed out loud so many times in a movie. Of course, it's impossible not to be amused by Jeff Goldblum - even when he's serious, he's possessed of an irresistible archness. And I never tired of Anthony LaPaglia and Liev Schreiber, with their quick shifts between resourcefulness and panic.

It's difficult to say which of the plot points take dramatic license and which are documentary, because the whole story is believable. I don't think the Russians are patronized nor the Americans built up - they all have their virtues and foibles. In fact, the story makes it plain that it is the Americans who are introducing guile into the process on the (ironically Leninist) thesis that the ends justify the means.

I should liked to have seen if the little flirtation between Goldblum and Tatiana led to anything. Likewise, I should like to have known the other characters better: Felix, the go-between, who had a touching moment pondering the fate of World War II veterans selling their medals to make ends meet; Lugov, the mysterious Mafioso; and the Elvis impersonator who became a drinking buddy. And, of course, Tatiana, Yeltsin's daughter, who rates her own biopic. Lots of potential spinoffs here.

Can't wait for the video!


9 of 14 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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