Billy Elliot

Billy Elliot

4.7 24
Director: Stephen Daldry

Cast: Julie Walters, Jamie Bell, Gary Lewis

     
 

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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 TonySee more details below

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Overview

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.

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Kryssa Schemmerling
Billy Elliot, the screen debut of British theater director Stephen Daldry, follows in the footsteps of Brassed Off and The Full Monty by combining the kitchen sink realism of a Ken Loach film with an uplifting tale of salvation through the performing arts. It's also a poignant and often very funny coming-of-age drama enlivened by young Jamie Bell's star-making performance in the title role. The story takes place in 1984 against the backdrop of the coal-miner's strike in Durham County, England. It's a place where life is hard and bleak, and men spend their spare time getting pissed in pubs and boxing at the local gym. Imagine, then, the horror of Billy's gruff but basically good-hearted father (Gary Lewis) when he finds out that his adolescent boy, showing no talent as a pugilist, has secretly taken up ballet instead. Billy's mentor is a chain-smoking ballet mistress, superbly portrayed by Julie Walters, who sees the spark of raw talent in the boy and risks the wrath of Billy's homophobic dad and older brother (Jamie Driven) in order to nurture it. Making deft use of period music, with an emphasis on T. Rex, Billy Elliot celebrates the power of song and dance to liberate a person from the constraints of poverty and narrow-mindedness. Yet at the same time, Daldry finds beauty in the beleaguered mining town, with its stark light: When Billy, exhilarated by dancing, rushes through narrow streets pitched precipitously above a shimmering, pewter sea, the image reflects the inner state of a young hero poised to soar.
All Movie Guide - Jason Clark
The debut feature of acclaimed stage director Stephen Daldry, this effortlessly charming yet entirely familiar coming-of-age story follows along the same lines as such U.S. imports as The Full Monty and Waking Ned Devine, but with a heartfelt ardor all its own. The film rarely strays from its wistful sensibilities, but features ample compensation in its astute casting (newcomer Jamie Bell is a marvelously natural young find) and Daldry's amiable handling of both the title character's dancing ambitions, as well as the backdrop for the main story, northern England's chaotic mining strike of the 1980s. Overall, Billy Elliot is a difficult film to resist, even if it doesn't genuinely surprise. A momentous hit in Britain, the film's irresistible desire to please proves utterly winning in the long run. Interestingly, the film premiered at the 2000 Cannes Film Festival as Dancer, but so as not to be confused with Lars von Trier's highly publicized, Palme d'Or-winning entry of the same year, the filmmakers decided to permanently change Billy Elliot's title for its U.S. release.

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Product Details

Release Date:
01/10/2012
UPC:
0025192128448
Original Release:
2000
Rating:
R
Source:
Universal Studios
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Sound:
[DTS 5.1-Channel Surround Sound, Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound]
Time:
1:51:00
Sales rank:
18,199

Special Features

Billy Elliot: Breaking Free An Original featurette with a closer look at the making of the film and the incredible ensemble of talent brought together; ; Theatrical trailer

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Julie Walters Mrs. Wilkinson
Jamie Bell Billy Elliot
Gary Lewis Dad
Jean Heywood Grandmother
Stuart Wells Michael
Nicola Blackwell Debbie
Jamie Draven Tony
Adam Cooper Actor

Technical Credits
Stephen Daldry Director
Charles Brand Executive Producer
Greg Brenman Producer
Peter Darling Choreography
Maria Djurkovic Production Designer
Jon Finn Producer
Lee Hall Screenwriter
Martin Harrison Asst. Director
Mark Holding Sound/Sound Designer
Jina Jay Casting
John Wilson Editor
Tatiana Lund Set Decoration/Design
Stewart Meacham Costumes/Costume Designer
Tessa Ross Executive Producer
David M. Thompson Executive Producer
Brian Tufano Cinematographer
Stephen Warbeck Score Composer
Natascha Wharton Executive Producer

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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Billy Elliot
1. Main Titles [:02]
2. A Disgrace to the Gloves [:33]
3. The Ballet Class [1:51]
4. To Be a Dancer [3:40]
5. Dad Finds Out [2:03]
6. Mrs. Wilkinson's Offer [1:16]
7. Private Lessons [4:52]
8. A Ghost Story [2:07]
9. Tony's Arrest [6:21]
10. The Chance to Dance [:21]
11. Christmas [6:46]
12. A Dance of Defiance [3:23]
13. Dad's Decision [3:48]
14. The Audition [:57]
15. The Interview [3:27]
16. The Letter [4:46]
17. Billy's Big Night [1:37]
18. End Titles [3:53]

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