Montreal West high school student Leon Bronstein (Jay Baruchel) believes that he is the reborn incarnation of the socialist revolutionary Leon Trotsky. Shortly after he starts to work in his family's clothing factory, he attempts to unionize the workplace with such actions as a hunger strike. He is pulled from his upper-class private school by his father (Saul Rubinek) and sent to the public school system. There, he continues his quest to live out Trotsky's activism, as he is pitted against the strong-willed principal Mr. Berkhoff (Colm Feore). Meanwhile, he seeks romance with older McGill University graduate student Alexandra (Emily Hampshire).
Jay Baruchel as Leon Bronstein
Domini Blythe as Mrs. Davis
Geneviève Bujold as Denise Archambault
Anne-Marie Cadieux as Anne Bronstein
Jesse Camacho as Skip
Colm Feore as Principal Berkhoff
Emily Hampshire as Alexandra Leith
David Julian Hirsh as Eli Bronstein
Kaniehtiio Horn as Caroline (as Tiio Horn)
Michael Murphy as Frank McGovern
Jessica Paré as Laura
Tommie-Amber Pirie as Sarah Bronstein
Saul Rubinek as David Bronstein
As part of the plot, Ben Mulroney plays himself, the host of etalk, interviewing "Leon Bronstein".
Shooting for the film began in Montreal on 27 August 2008 at Lakeside Academy.
The film was first previewed at the Toronto International Film Festival 11 September 2009. In the United States, it was screened at the 2010 Tribeca Film Festival. Its general Canadian release was on 14 May 2010.
The Trotsky received mostly favorable reviews from critics. The Toronto Star gave The Trotsky a positive review, particularly of the cast. Another positive review from Montreal's The Gazette noted the "inspired, often-dangerously-funny screenplay" of the "too-talented" Tierney, likening the film to Ferris Bueller's Day Off.
Web review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes assessed the film at 82% on its Tomatometer with an average rating of 7/10, based on 11 reviews.