Friday, 22 July 2011

Film Review - Billy Elliot

Release: 2000
Director: Stephen Daldry
Starring: Jamie Bell, Julie Walters

Another British film I'd written off, but on watching it really understood the hype. I've since become a real fan of Jamie Bell (watch The Eagle, it's class).

Set in a fictional Northern mining town during the coal mining strikes, Billy is a boy brought up in a motherless house by his manly father who wants him to learn boxing. In the same building as the boy's boxing class is a girl's ballet class, and Billy becomes curious. The ballet teacher Julie Walters takes Billy under her wing, and his love of dance comes alive.

He fights to keep his dancing secret, but eventually his father and brother find out. There are some very emotional scenes which all lead towards the father's breakdown and eventual acceptance of Billy's talent. Eventually they get behind Billy and send him to audition in a London Ballet School.

There are some fantastic scenes, one in particular is during a police raid of the town in full riot gear and 70's style beatdowns. The soundtrack of the film is full of T-Rex, and it really works. What a great little film.


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