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
Jamie Bell was going through puberty at the time of filming. Some of his dialog had to be post-synched as his voice had broken. And the opening scene in which he jumps up and down on a bed to T. Rex's "Cosmic Dancer" was shot over a lengthy period of time. For the latter takes, Bell had acquired hair on his legs and had to have them shaved. See more »
In the mobile library scene, several book spines are clearly visible, revealing titles published well after the 1984 setting of the film:
Lisa Appignanesi wrote 'Memory and Desire' in 1991, Barbara Taylor Bradford wrote 'Hold the Dream' in 1985, and 'Shirlee Busbee' wrote 'This Spanish Rose', 1986. See more »
I don't want a childhood. I want to be a ballet dancer.
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A wonderful example of good quality writing, acting and art
Billy Elliot is a wonderful story of a young boy overcoming obstacles to participate in the one activity that takes him away from his troubled family life. By dancing, Billy unleashes his frustrations, yet also receives much criticism by participating in a less than macho sport. Every aspect of this movie was well done: the acting was superb, the characters were complex but believable, but the cinematography alone takes the cake. The cameras look at things from some very interesting and unusual views. Every shot was well planned out and every item in the background had importance.
This is one of the best movies I've seen recently and one that definitely shouldn't be missed by anyone that believes in following his or her dreams.
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