6.6/10
986
25 user 3 critic

Spinning Boris (2003)

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

Director:

Roger Spottiswoode

Writers:

Yuri Zeltser, Grace Cary Bickley (as Cary Bickley)
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1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jeff Goldblum ... George Gorton
Anthony LaPaglia ... Dick Dresner
Liev Schreiber ... Joe Shumate
Boris Lee Krutonog ... Felix Braynin (as Boris Krutonog)
Svetlana Efremova ... Tatiana Dyachenko
Shauna MacDonald ... Lisa
Gregory Hlady ... Andrei Lugov
Vladimir Radian Vladimir Radian ... Vasso
Ilia Volok ... Elvis Impersonator
Konstantin Kazakov Konstantin Kazakov ... Oleg Soskovets
Judah Katz ... Michael Kramer
Maria Syrgiannis Maria Syrgiannis ... Female Journalist
Ola Sturik Ola Sturik ... Post Office Clerk
Gillian Vanderburgh Gillian Vanderburgh ... Dick Dresner's Wife
Serge Timokhin Serge Timokhin ... Hotel Desk Clerk
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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:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

23 October 2003 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Yeltsin Project See more »

Filming Locations:

Hamilton, Ontario, Canada See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Not portrayed in the film is Steven Moore who, at 27 years old, was the junior member of the team who stayed in Moscow during the entire campaign. Much of the script was drafted using the daily memos that Moore wrote to keep the traveling senior consultants informed of developments on the campaign. See more »

Goofs

Half way the film, the three protagonists are discussing Tatiana inside Lenin's Mausoleum at the Red Square. It is however strictly forbidden to stand still and speak inside the mausoleum. See more »

Quotes

Joe Shumate: He never did say how we'll be gone. By land, by sea, or by bullet.
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User Reviews

Strange truth as fiction
16 October 2004 | by mtsmith-02See all my reviews

I was watching the election returns in my friends' apartment in St. Petersburg on June 16, 1996, and thus had seen the documentary footage in this film first-hand. Watching "Spinning Boris" on DVD, I did not suspect that it was based on reality rather than conjecture until I watched the interviews with the political consultants on whom it is based. It is a tribute to the writers that the film came off as incredible fiction. Very enjoyable. The dialogue is very clever among the Americans (in the good old "buddy movie" tradition) , and I was impressed at the texture of the Russian setting, all the while not believing the story line. (I recall less dire numbers in the polls, although my Russian friends were very worried about a possible return to Communism).

Apparently, though, I found more humor in the film's situations than I really should have, considering it was based on fact. I regret that this film did not get broader press coverage, for it is as relevant to the current situation in American politics as to the Russian events it portrays.


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