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Billy Elliot
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Billy Elliot More at IMDbPro »

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Index 435 reviews in total 

The best British-made film I have seen

Author: Mike M. (abercrombie_guy_38) from Philadelphia
8 August 2001

It looks like a typical 'follow your dreams' movie. But once you sit down on the couch and watch the first five minutes of this movie, you won't be leaving.

I've always wanted to see Billy Elliot in the movies and never got the chance. Finally, I was able to see it on video-tape and jeez, I should have watched it earlier.

Billy Elliot takes place in the 1980's in a small, lower class English town. Billy Elliot (Jamie Bell) is into boxing when a ballet class moves into the gym where he's practicing. He stumbles onto the class and joins. Hiding the fact that he is dancing from his friends and family, he continues to box and dance.

Billy's brother and father are working in a mine when a strike erupts and times are tough. While the brother is protesting, the father continues to work to support his family, enduring the hell ride to the mine.

Meanwhile, Billy's family finds out he is dancing privately with the ballet teacher. Billy's father and brother are now p***ed, calling him a "poof" which I can only think to mean gay or a girl. While Billy's brother is planning to kill his father because the father is too mean, beating both children, Billy stops it.

In the end, Billy tries out for an audition into a well-respected dancing school in London. Beating up a kid in the locker room and getting in trouble for it, Billy goes home in tears with his father. One day he gets a letter and finds out he's accepted. The strike is now over, unfortunately.

------

Thousands of British lads auditioned for Billy Elliot, and only one made it. Jamie Bell, a cute boy who delivers a flawless performance. No one could have done it better than him. Jamie is not a child actor, he's a real actor and you see it in his emotions.

Again, this looks like the follow your dreams movies, but it isn't. Even the sensitive subject of homosexuality is touched in Billy Elliot. The movie is the best British movie I have seen, five stars, number one, all the way.

This movie is the third best movie I've seen and trust me, I've seen a lot. There is a bit too much using the 'f' word but it adds the harsh flavor to the movie.

Bottom Line: Don't see Billy Elliot and you're missing out on a lot.

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Great

8/10
Author: sofia_blink182 (sofia_blink182@hotmail.com) from Motala, Sweden
5 August 2001

When I first saw this movie I thought, What is this!? a boy jumping up and down!? But I thought it was amazing, a beautiful story about a boy trying to hide from his family that he is dancing ballet. I think it is from the 80`s and Billy, his dad and his brother is living in a poor suburb in England, and his dad works in a coal mine. The father and the brother try to get him out of it because it`s a dance for girls, but Billy continues in secret and he become so good that his teacher think his ready to go on an audition! A wonderful movie that I can see again. //Sofia

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Brilliant!!!!!

10/10
Author: Priscila (music.is.food.for.the.soul@bol.com.br) from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
23 July 2001

Firstly I would say Billy Elliot was the best movie I have ever seen in my whole life!It is a poetry shown through a movie! Watching Billy Elliot feels like a shower to our souls : it is totally different from what we are used to because that is no special effects there is no "Tom Cruises'" or "Brad Pitts'" but real talented actors that bring emotion to our sometimes stressing reality!From soundtrack (it rocks!)to editing it's all perfect! DON"T EVER MISS IT!!! Priscila

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Chick Flick a l' Anglaise?

7/10
Author: Angeneer from Athens, Greece
21 July 2001

Stephen Daldry apparently figured out it would be a good idea to borrow all the powerful aspects of British cinema we've witnessed over the years (namely social criticism, straightforward dialogues, realistic family confrontations, the Thatcher decadence atmosphere and scenery) and mix them with a corny and shallow theme, in order to create a "socially aware" feel-good movie. The producers of Full Monty did it first and better. This film remains though a pleasure to watch due to the high calibre of its performances and especially that of Jamie Bell.

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An old-time story for the year 2000 done right

9/10
Author: ericsinla from Long Island, NY
20 July 2001

The thing about this movie is that it's a small movie with an indepedent feel to it that has a Hollywood plot. It's a story you may have seen many times before in different ways. But don't let it's Rocky overtones scare you away, Billy Elliot is still very original. It touches you and it makes you laugh at the same time. Jamie Bell gives a great performance as the lower middle class small town kid who wants to be a ballet dancer against his widowed fathers wishes. The music for the film is also interesting, the director usesthe 1970's rock band "T-Rex" throughout the movie and even though it may not have been someone else's choice for a film set in the 1980's, the excellent "Cosmic Dancer" seems oddly appropriate. The films gender bending aspects are also very different from the standard Hollywood treatment hence "The Full Monty" comparison. Yet as British as this film is Billy Elliot is so charming that I think almost anyone could enjoy it, even Americans.

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GO, BILLY! (mild spoilers)

10/10
Author: Jeff (jeffagso2369@yahoo.com) from Greensboro, NC
19 July 2001

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I love this movie. I saw it multiple times in the theater, and I bought the DVD the day it came out.

This film works in so many ways. Jamie Bell is perfectly cast as Billy, and I dare to say his performance in this film was every bit as good as Haley Joel Osment's in The Sixth Sense. There were times watching this movie that I forgot he was an actor; I felt like he *was* Billy. The film captures a place (1984) and an era (Thatcher's England) so well it's like time travel.

The story is simple, and that's why it works. The soundtrack is stunning, 100% bang-on, especially The Clash's "London Calling" and The Jam's "Town Called Malice." Bell's dance numbers are brash and enthusiastic, and you can almost feel the character of Billy throwing everything he has into his self-expression. The times that he seems most alive are when he is dancing, because it is then that he transcends the constraints placed upon him by his family and friends, and of course society, with its "only poofs [homosexuals] dance" mentality. And hooray for Billy, the fact that his best friend is a cross-dressing "poof" doesn't really phase him. The scene where Billy bids goodbye to Michael and Durham County is quite the heartstring tugger.

If you haven't seen this movie, do so. You'll want to dance right along with Billy, and don't be surprised if you find yourself, like Mrs. Wilkinson, cheering "Go, Billy!"

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ONE OF THE BEST BRITISH FILM

8/10
Author: SUPERNOVA HEIGHTS from Spain
19 July 2001

The film begins with a good song (T-REX ¨COSMIC DANCER¨)A young boy jumps in his bed,it´s funny.this film is the best british film with trainspotting.The actors are excellent,the music perfect and a beautiful story for all the family

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movie that fascinates your senses and warms your heart

10/10
Author: bqk9506 (boris.khmelnitskiy@morganstanley.com) from NYC
18 July 2001

I can see how this movie would leave you lasting for more flavour, possibly less music, more texture in the plot or less vulgarity. But regardless it will touch your soul. Story is charming though rather predictable as one might correctly assume from a preview. Acting however is phenomenal, entire cast - from grandma to the youngest of dancers - did the most courageous job portraying emotionally and at times physically challenged characters. Spectacular Julie Walters, ballet teacher, seemingly unsophisticated bourgeoisie, plays with overwhelming mix of tremendous grace, coarse devotion and tasteful vulgarity; superb Gary Lewis, father of Billy, despite deeply disturbing and hence intricate character is never exceedingly dramatic but delightfully impetuous and affectionate; sensational Jamie Bell, brilliantly talanted boy with mesmerizing childish appeal, mature persuasive performance, striking sense of movement and most compelling "dunno" in all North England.

Blend these characters with near catastrophic social and economic setting, groovy soundtrack and exceptional directing and you will end up with the hodgepodge of "Shine", "Dancer in the Dark", "Oliver Twist" and "Ma vie en rose", something you might not want to miss.

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I watched this movie with my mom and we loved it

Author: indiewastelander from West Virginia
9 July 2001

Billy Elliot was a perfect movie. Really good. Good acting. And good

dancing. Jamie Bell is a great British actor, not a child actor, an

actor. Haley Joel Osment couldn't do better in a movie like this. Julie

Walters did great, also. This movie had some language but it was still

good. This movie is definentley a must see. See it now. It's BBC meets

Dirty Dancing. I'd like to meet the real Billy El

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Moving, funny and entertaining!

7/10
Author: mattymatt4ever from Jersey City, NJ
5 July 2001

"Billy Elliot" is nice, uplifting piece that doesn't take cheap shots. The arc is quite obvious, but it's the way the film works towards that arc which I found impressive. First of all, I'd like to say that I assumed I'd be watching a family film. I ignored the R-rating, assuming it was on a technicality. But this film really is filled with harsh language! However, I didn't sweat it, because that was the film's way of capturing the realism of its characters. The characters in the story are low-class, blue-collar citizens and naturally they're not going to have the cleanest vocabulary.

The performances are great all-around. Of course, the two highlights are Julie Walters and Gary Lewis. Walters is electric as the possessive but good-natured ballet teacher. I haven't seen "Pollock" yet, so I can't say if she would've deserved to win over Marcia Gay Harden, but I can say she definitely deserved to be nominated. I also wish the Academy considered Lewis, who is powerful as Billy's overbearing father. It strikes fear in me just by observing the look in his eyes. His father-son interactions with Billy (Jamie Bell) are extremely powerful, and I love the chemistry between them. They interact the way a REAL father and son would act, and not how a tailor-made, cinematic father and son would act.

The film is set in 1984, so I was bopping my head to some cool 80s tunes. Aside from the dramatic scenes, "Billy Elliot" has a very upbeat feel and makes you want to smile. It's funny, it's entertaining, yet moving at the same time. Though it tries to be uplifting, it never forgets its dark subplots like the coal-miners strike and the loss of Billy's mother who he, in one scene, imagines in the kitchen with him.

"Billy Elliot" is a fine, fine film that inspires its audience to follow their dreams, and deliver it in a way that's unpretentious, down to earth, not sappy and something we can all relate to.

My score: 7 (out of 10)

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