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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
Leon Bronstein (Jay Baruchel) is a gawky teen who idolizes Leon Trotsky and wants to unionize his father (Saul Rubinek)'s business. He hounds leftist lawyer Frank McGovern (Michael Murphy) unless he agrees to help. He meets older woman Alexandra Leith (Emily Hampshire). He is convinced that he is the reincarnation of Trotsky and she is Leon's first wife Aleksandra. Mocking his Trotsky reincarnation, his father takes him out of boarding school and put into a Montreal public high school. Principal Berkhoff (Colm Feore) runs a tight ship and they soon become adversaries. Leon needs to find his Lenin and joins the student union. He finds fascism in detention and tries to unionize his high school.
This is chalk full of charm. It's very cute with the awkward Jay Baruchel. He is adorably delusional. He's never annoying even though his character is stubbornly uncompromising. It could use a more comedic touch with the writing. The socialist references may go over most of the general public and it's not wacky enough for one of those crude teen comedies. It doesn't really fall into an easy category and it doesn't help that it is so laden with Canadiana. When it does go into wacky territories, it doesn't really do it in a LOL fashion. However its heart is in the right place and like Alexandra, one can't avoid the Leon storm and accept his insanity.
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