Billy Elliot (2000) – Stephen Daldry (Friday’s Finest)

I had heard about the movie Billy Elliot and its accolades, and I don’t know why it took me so long to see it. It might be that my shallow expectations of a coming-of-age story of a prepubescent teen taking to ballet didn’t really entice me. A few years ago, I stumbled upon it when I was zapping through cable-tv, and the little I saw impressed me. Then I saw Billy Elliot in its entirety and ‘Wow’! I saw it again, this time with my kids and they were glued to the screen; and I thought we might be onto something here. Then we all saw it again two nights ago and were fascinated.

IMDB Storyline:

In County Durham, during the endless, violent 1984 strike against the Margaret Thatcher closure of British coal mines, widower Jackie Elliot Widower (Gary Lewis) and his firstborn, fellow miner Tony (Jamie Draven), take a dim view of 11-year-old second son Billy’s (Jamie Bell) poor record in boxing class, which worsens when they discover he sneakily transferred to the neighboring, otherwise girls-only-attended ballet class. Only one schoolmate, closet-gay Michael Caffrey (Stuart Wells), encourages Billy’s desire, aroused by the teacher, Mrs. Wilkinson (Dame Julie Walters), who judged him talented enough for private lessons, to train and try out for the world-renowned Royal Ballet audition. Only the prospect of a fancy career unimagined in the pauper quarter may twist pa and big brother’s opposition to indispensable support.

When we were watching another movie recently – the Elton John bio-pic Rocketman, my eldest son pointed to the actor playing Bernie Taupin and exclaimed, ‘That’s Billy Elliot! ‘Billy Elliot‘? I responded, ‘No way‘! I thought he was seeing things. It escapes me how he recognised the actor Jamie Bell from Rocketman. Around 2,000 boys were considered for the role of Billy before Bell was chosen for the role. Bell won the BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role for his depiction of Billy Elliot.

My son Jesus Mateo also added that he loved the Billy Elliot soundtrack and above all the song London Calling by British punk band – The Clash. It is indeed a great music soundtrack which includes Children of the Revolution, Cosmic Dancer and Get it On. In the scene presented below where Billy is confronted by his disapproving – father (and that’s putting it mildly) contains some of my favourite music from the film as well as Billy Elliot’s (Jamie Bell) superior dancing.
Billy Elliot received positive critical response and commercial success, earning $109.3 million worldwide on a $5 million budget. This is an unusual but superb family movie which I encourage everyone to see. Thank you for reading.

1. Billy Elliot – Wikipedia
2. Billy Elliot – IMDB

“The more I live, the more I learn. The more I learn, the more I realize, the less I know.”- Michel Legrand

Tagged with: , ,
Posted in Movies and TV
6 comments on “Billy Elliot (2000) – Stephen Daldry (Friday’s Finest)
  1. I love this film, and saw it twice when it came out in the theaters. Not only brilliant performances by everyone, but also a great social commentary on that time period in northern England.

    • I agree the performances in this are excellent. Ballet teacher player by Julie Walters, father, brother & grandmother are all superb. There is another great coming of age movie set in this period called ‘This is England’. I imagine you’ve seen it.

  2. My favourite scene has got to be the very end when he steps onto the stage as a grown man, having beat all the odds. I adore this movie! You nearly missed a treat there Matt, so glad you and your kids caught it. Regards, Sharon

    • Hey Sharon! I agree that scene sends chills up my spine. Dedication, passion and discipline. And before that, when he gets on the bus and leaves his brother and father behind at the terminal and enters a new phase in his life, is one for the ages. Just a great movie and I’m so happy my kids have seen it and love it.

  3. Just had this thought Matt, if you and your kids enjoyed Billy Elliott, you might like ‘Educating Rita’ with Michael Caine and Julie Walters, another great British based movie (80s). See if you can find it somewhere, I’ve got a hunch you might like it!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: