Quiet and sincere 9-year-old Sam is worried about making his first confession. His conscience is clear, therefore he cannot hope for any relief from the experience. He and his friend Jacob ... See full summary »
County Durham, during the endless, violent 1984 strike against the Thatcher closure of British coal mines. Widower Jackie Elliot and his firstborn, fellow miner Tony, take a dim view of 11 year-old second son Billy's 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, encourages Billy's desire, aroused by the teacher, who judged him talented enough for private lesson, 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. Written by
In the final scene, the ballet in which Billy performs is Matthew Bourne's version of "Swan Lake" where all the Swans are played by men. Billy plays the part of the Swan, the same part he discusses with Mrs Wilkinson earlier in the film. See more »
Billy's brother listens to music in his room (at around 42 mins) while wearing headphones but in cuts to the father and grandmother in other rooms in the house they hear the music as well. Some stereos allow the use of headphones and speakers together. See more »
Billy Elliot is a truly inspirational movie. It reminds us of the human potential to transcend our economic surroundings and the expectations of society by doing something so simple, and yet sometimes so very difficult, as simply being ourselves.
Born in a socially and economically repressed mining town, Billy is told that boys box or wrestle; boys don't dance. But Billy loves to dance and does so every chance that he gets.
Does a love of ballet make you gay? Does it matter if your best friend is a crossdresser? How far will a father go when he realizes the truth about his son? This is a movie of change, growth and emotion, with characters and actors so real and fully developed that they pull your heart forth and place it firmly upon the screen. We literally feel the brittleness of judgement, the despair of lost hope, and the joy of acceptance.
It is easy to see why this small British film has won so many foreign awards and nominations, and I only hope it will be given the chance it deserves to inspire and transform US audiences as well.
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