6.6/10
990
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)
Reviews
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

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

Dick Dresner: Do you believe in God?
George Gorton: Depends. Why?
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Watch out Elvis, and watch out for that mine-shaft gap!
17 January 2006 | by janet-55See all my reviews

I resisted seeing this movie for some time. Not sure why - probably because the title put me off. However it is one of the funniest, sharpest movies I have seen in many a year and I have to agree with "Filmdome" that it has something of "Dr Strangelove" about it. The notion that three American political consultants could go over to Russia and successfully assist Boris Yeltsin to win the 1996 election would be ludicrous if it weren't for the fact that it is true! The three protagonists Jeff Goldblum (George), Anthony LaPaglia (Dick) and Liev Schreiber(Joe) have great on-screen rapport and charisma which only serves to heighten the manic atmosphere and paranoia of the piece. The notion that they can't trust anyone pervades the film giving this satire an added dimension; all their most private thoughts and plans have to be expressed on the balcony to their apartment. Even the CIA have them bugged. Their only respite appears to be in the bar at the hotel where a rather bad Russian Elvis Presley impersonator befriends them and offers invaluable information as to the Russian psyche. The film is interspersed with genuine footage from the campaign, plus Yeltsin's bizarre dancing episode which I'm sure any of you out there with long memories must remember as it was one of the most surreal bouts of electioneering ever to have been televised! Naturally George, Dick and Joe are equally unimpressed. Goldblum is touching in his gentle and restrained romancing of Tatiana (Yeltsin's daughter)though I suspect that in reality this did not happen. Dick turning blue in a snowstorm on the tarmac at the airport and barricading the door to their apartment on election night while Joe hides under his jacket, and the musical car journey back to the airport at the end of the film are just a hint at the great moments in this very good movie.


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