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Billy Elliot (2000)

Cast: Julie Walters, Jamie Bell, Jamie Driven, more...
Director: Stephen Daldry
    see all cast/crew...
Studio: Universal Studios
Genre: Foreign, Coming of Age , UK
Running Time: 111 min.
Languages: English, French
Subtitles: English
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Brassed Off meets My Name Is Joe in this gritty coming-of-age drama about a young son of a poor English coal miner who dreams of being a ballet dancer. The film is set during a 1984 miners' strike in Durham county, where angry clashes between picketers and cops in riot gear are nearly daily occurrences. Among the most vociferous protestors are Tony (Jamie Driven) and his dad (Gary Lewis), who nags his youngest son Billy (Jamie Bell) into taking boxing classes. Though the kid can do some fancy footwork, he can't take a punch. One day at the gym, he notices a ballet class taught by hard-bitten Mrs. Wilkinson (Julie Walters), whose young daughter dares him to join. When his father gets wind of this less-than-manly pursuit, he pulls him from the class. Sensing a raw and natural talent, Mrs. Wilkinson offers to teach the lad for free in preparation for the local auditions to the Royal Ballet School. When Tony gets in trouble with the cops, Billy is forced to miss the trials, leading to a confrontation between Billy's pop and Ms. Wilkinson. Though at first he steadfastly refuses to consider his son's desires of going into ballet, he comes to realize that this might be the one shot that Billy has in order to escape the danger and grinding tedium of a miner's life, so he sets out to earn the money by any means necessary to send his son to London. This film is the directorial debut of renowned British stage director Stephen Daldry. ~ Jonathan Crow, All Movie Guide

You might also enjoy:
The Full Monty
British comedy-drama about working class blokes who become "exotic" dancers was a big hit and, despite that, is still quite good

Center Stage
Excellent ballet dancing is at the center of this film's stage

GreenCine Member Reviews

Surprising. by MLouv April 6, 2002 - 10:02 PM PST
2 out of 2 members found this review helpful
Billy Elliot seems like the kind of sappy, "everyone can enjoy it" movies cranked out for an overly-sentimental American audience such as October Sky, but it really isn't. The acting is surprisingly intense and well-done except for a few lines. All the characters seem completely believeable, and coupled with subtle sexual overtones, a tapestry of human emotion is weaved with delicate precision. Kudos to Daldry.

Nice follow-your-dream movie,bad dancing by hneline1 February 27, 2002 - 2:23 PM PST
0 out of 1 members found this review helpful
Jamie Bell is pretty good as a sensative kid in a harsh environment, and I thought that the coal miners' strike was depicted with just enough grittiness to make his father and brother's violent frustrations believable. Jamie's dancing, however, is raw... if you're looking for a feel-good follow-your-dream movie, watch this. If you're looking for dancing inspiration, well, the spark is in Jamie but the grace is not there yet.

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 7.60)
123 Votes
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Cannes Film Festival & More - 2000
Official Selection, Certain Regards... and more. Here is a bit more information on the films screened at the Cannes. I have attempted to list all the films that were considered for an award as well as any special screenings.
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