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|Index||435 reviews in total|
If you liked Flashdance, and are now an educated, literate, sophistacated adult with an interest in humans and their history and growth, you should love this film and music. We purchased the DVD and soundtrack CD. Bruce & Margaret
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This is really a great movie, I loved the story and the atmosphere. Wonderful acting, true characters. I especially enjoyed Billy`s dad - having lost his wife he is left alone with his sons and his mother, obviously not able to deal with his life, nevertheless always being the "strong" man of the family. And men do NOT go to "bally" lessons ! I would have given Billy Elliott a 8/10 if it wasn`t for the pathetic ending. #MAJOR SPOILERS# In my opinion, the film should have ended when Billy entered the bus, finally going to London to have dancing lessons. But somehow the director felt it was necessary to show Billys first stage performance (this is ten years later). Besides the fact that the older Billy is not resembling the younger Billy at all, the movie does not leave you with a fantasy about what could become of Billy or his family. Instead, you see his father and brother come to London (you wonder - where does all the money for this trip suddenly come from ? They wear good clothes etc.). The friend of his teen years who enjoyed wearing his mothers dresses and had a crush on Billy (wonderful performance !) is now, 10 years later sitting next to Billys father, wearing a woman`s hat. Unfortunately, this scene does not keep in line with the subtle, intelligent storytelling we enjoyed throughout the film - but is a rather "straight in your face - notice this guy is gay in 3 seconds before this movie is over" scene. A few seconds less would have made Billy Elliott an almost perfect movie.
Billy Elliot is a movie that really does the business.Forget some gaping holes in the story and the over use of swearing, this film has great charm showing one boy's discovery of dance and a world away from the squalor and bleakness of his home life during the UK miner's strike of the 1980's.Julie Walters, Gary Lewis and the remarkable Jamie Bell in his debut all give excellent performances. Stephen Daldry gives us a film with just the right mix of reality and sentimentality. Well worth seeing !
For a similar tour d'force see also Empire of the Sun with Christian Bale who greatly resembles Jamie Bell. Stewart Wells was supposed to be eleven years old in the movie but was actually 18. How did they do that? Most finely played out exploration of emotional relationships since "Second Best."
This movie is a wonderful story of a young boy. The use of music is wonderful. Plus the integration of really life events helps this store even more. The characters are rich and have deep meaning. This is a have to see, plain and simple.
If you pick this movie up to rent, having never seen it, don't be fooled by the box-cover. Reading the back of the box will make you believe this is just one more cliche movie about a working-class son struggling to assert his dream to his coal mining father. Tremendous performances by all the major actors give this film incredible power. Billy Elliot is at once powerful and brilliantly lighthearted, handling its subject matter with just the right balance of humor and emotion.
The storyline worked for me although I was somewhat distracted by the less-than-stellar acting (except from Billy's dance instructor, who I thought did a great job). Nor could I accept the apparent change in relationships (father-son, brother-brother) that occurred near the end of the movie (could the settling of a bitter mining strike really re-engender such family love?). Also, I did not see the relevance of the minor homosexual sub-theme, which I felt was a distraction. But the soundtrack was good (well, the music was excellent - the northern English accent required some translation for me by my British-born wife). And I laughed a lot, sometimes almost to the point of tears, and that must be the ultimate test of a comedy.
I have to say that I approached this film with some trepidation. The subject
matter hardly filled me with enthusiasm - a young boy's quest against the
odds to become a ballet dancer.
What I got was a film which has given me some of the most memorable images from any film I've seen. Like the incredible dance sequence to T-Rex's "I Love to Boogie", with a startling display of footwork from Jamie Bell and Julie Walters.
Or the magnificently understated scene where Billy receives the letter from the Royal Ballet telling him whether or not he has been accepted for a scholarship. It was a moment that had me literally bursting into tears of emotion, so utterly, utterly convincing was it.
And the farewell scene at the Bus Station, with Jamie's Dad awkwardly hugging the gangling youngster. Sheer class.
Julie Walters gives a performance thoroughly deserving of her Oscar nomination, and Jamie Bell is a revelation. His performance was recognised at home with a BAFTA award for Best Actor, and it is a performance every bit as memorable as Haley Joel Osment in Sixth Sense. Dare I be so bold as to suggest that if young Jamie were an American, Russell Crowe would not have had a Best Actor look-in?
Even if you do not care for the idea of a young boy's interest in dance, you might give this movie a chance. If for no other reason, the soundtrack is fabulous, but the story is GREAT. It may even even shed new light on stereotypes! EVERYTHING in this movie is entertaining!! I watched it 3 times in one week and my appreciation for it only increased!
I was excited about seeing "Billy Elliot" after its Golden Globe attention, and I was very pleased with it overall. The film is wonderful, the acting is exceptional, the writing and directing, too, are terrific. Jamie Bell leads as Elliot in this story of an aspiring dancer, and does so with integrity and brilliance. By learning to dance for the difficult role, his performance was very believable and effective. His Oscar snub still stuns me. Julie Walters was stunning as the ballet teacher. Her tart mouth and sympathetic portrayal was one of the best performances of the year and her Oscar nomination was very deserving. Through the amazing performances, writing, and directing, "Billy Elliot" is a masterpiece not soon forgotten. 10/10 stars.
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