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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 Tony


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.

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.

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Universal Studios
[Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround, Digital Theater Systems]

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
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

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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Billy Elliot 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 24 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Guest More than 1 year ago
Unbelievable!! I watched it once and when my daughter got home from school, I had her watch it with me again. I saw it within an hour of watching it the first time and loved it even more. My daughter loved it so much she ordered the movie right after!!! A must see!!!
Bella_Quileute More than 1 year ago
Billy Eliot is a fantastic film! I love the story about a talented and intelligent boy who goes against the stereotype to become a dancer. The performances are excellent and inspiring.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is still one of the best movies. Great motivational film for young and old.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I came across this beautiful movie rather by accident, but definitely didn’t regret it. The film is as much about dancing as it is a social study. The story sounds simple: young boy trying to pursue his dreams of becoming a ballet dancer amidst an environment where the biggest question is how to get the next meal on the table and how to keep the house warm. Yet, it is much more complex than that and deals in many ways with those overwhelming issues of growing up, finding one’s identity, struggling against family tradition and stereotypes, and eventually, having to let go. The movie is set at the time of the 1984 northern England coal-miners strike, but clearly, the story of the Elliot family stays in its focus. The cast was chosen well, excellent performances of Jamie Bell playing (being?) Billy and Julie Walters as his resolute teacher, Miss Wilkinson. Many scenes make you laugh and cry at the same time with an honest portrayal of the characters and their harsh but equally heartfelt relationships. Some scenes seem to be exaggerated, which gives them a touch of a satire, e.g., Miss Wilkinson and brother Tony facing off while Billy stands helplessly on the table. Great to see Billy and his father evolve throughout the movie. Good music score, unfortunately not quite complete on the soundtrack CD. The north-American R-rating is too harsh, it is PG or 15 across Europe as far as I know. Obviously, the movie needs the strong language to be authentic, and some scenes may be considered delicate, but overall more educational than damaging to a mid-teen (your call).
Guest More than 1 year ago
Worth Seeing.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Nice emotive story. Inspirational!
Guest More than 1 year ago
saw jamie bell first in nicholas nickelby and fell in love with his performance. he was really good and in this one as well and not bad for a ballet dancer. love that smile of his. this is about the title character who loves to dance and tries to prove that he is he and stands up for himself. inventive camera techniques.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A wonderful movie! Dance lovers and others will delight in this moving story of a young boy torn between heart and home. Love it!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This film was an emotional charge from moment one all the way through to Billy's incredible leap in the last scene. I was profoundly moved by the struggles of each character as they developed in the story line. What a beautiful way to learn, finally, that my own own love of dance and the need for it in my life truly has had a significant purpose for me. As the movie progressed, moving through each scene was like making a discovery. I'm so grateful for this film. I will keep it in my library and remember to watch it each time I feel that life is overwhelming. I will use it to remind myself that dance and determination are powerful, powerful forces in my life. Great film! Bravo!
KENDELL More than 1 year ago
3Dachs More than 1 year ago
This film and story are truly inspiring - for performance and for content. What a great lesson in tolerance and acceptance and what talented performers! I highly recommend this film.
Bari_Unique More than 1 year ago
I absolutely adore this movie. It is a poignant tale of one young boy's coming of age and finding himself in 1980's northern England during the time of the coal-miners' strikes. Young Billy discovers a talent for dance at an early age, and through a series of circumstances finds himself taking ballet lessons each week instead of boxing lessons. This of course, wreaks havoc with his male dominated family who believe that only "poofs" would take to ballet. As his family becomes less able to pay for the weekly lessons due to the strike, Billy's insightful teacher agrees to teach him privately, and without pay to the point where he has progressed enough in his lessons to audition for the national ballet company in London. His father, meanwhile, goes back to the mines as a "scab" so that he could afford to send Billy to London. Billy does overcome his small town fears and heads to London for the trial. He is later accepted into the troupe as a student, and years later, we see him debut as a principle dancer as his family looks on. This is a poignant family story full of love, frustration, trials, and successes--I would recommend it to anyone loving the dance!
Guest More than 1 year ago
A touching story that will capture your hearts. Captivating and real...a movie that will evoke many emotions and memories of your childhood.
CJ829 More than 1 year ago
I loved this story of a boy who aspired to be a dancer; something his family thought of as "sissy." Funny, touching, entertaining and inspiring to anyone who has a dream.
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