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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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

After the Yeltsin campaign, Gorton went on to be Arnold Schwarzenegger's political consultant, running Arnold's first campaign. The initiative, Proposition 49, created after school programs for kids and gave Arnold the credibility on public policy issues that propelled him to win the 2003 recall election for governor in California. Gorton also consulted to Arnold on the recall election. 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

George Gorton: When in Rome, speak Russian.
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User Reviews

 
Based on Actual Events...Yet Still Fun
8 April 2008 | by ElswetSee all my reviews

I own this mainly because of Jeff Goldblum, so I wasn't expecting much in the way of real entertainment, but was more or less watching this for Mr. Goldblum's performance. I think he's one of the best actors in the business. I did not discover until after the fact that this film was based on actual events, and I had to go watch it again.

Aside from beautiful performances by all three principals, the story itself has a wonderful flow, which works brilliantly with the material and weaves a highly enjoyable experience.

This is an entertaining experience, but it also shows how desperate the Russians were to do something better for themselves, in spite of communist influences still in place. It also allows us a small peek into the corrupt offices of our own politicians...we already know they will do anything to get elected. This just proves those suspicions and marks them as "well known" and "public knowledge."

On a side note, I found this information here at IMDb and paraphrased it for those of you who are interested. "While the film portrays all three of the men in Russia during the whole campaign, our three consultants (Gorton-Goldlum, Dresner-LaPaglia, and Shumate-Shreiber) were in truth flying in and out over those five months, or so. They left one person in the US as a security precaution to ensure that the other two could leave when desired, and one younger member was left in Russia the whole time. Oddly enough, he was omitted from the movie. It was his notes they used to draft a screenplay, by the way.

The hotel portrayed in the movie was the "President Hotel," known as the "Oktiabraskaya" during Soviet Times. Each room in this hotel was equipped with gas masks, and the hotel compound was rumored to be secretly linked to the Moscow metro system for occupants to escape or guards and extra security to arrive. After the Yeltsin campaign, Gorton went on to be Arnold Schwarzenegger's political consultant, running Arnold's first campaign.

The furniture-stacking scene 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." As I said, those words were paraphrased, but they may allow you a little behind the scenes knowledge as to the origins of this movie. Insider info like that tends to help me embrace the work more. Hope it does the same for you.

All in all? It's not Friday/Saturday night viewing material by any means, but it IS better than a rainy Sunday's tedium relief.

It rates a 7.9/10 from...

the Fiend :.


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