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Life with Billy (1993) (TV)
4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
Vicious, horrifying, painful, outstanding, 14 September 2010

When I first heard about this movie, I thought it would be a Lifetime Network type TV movie about an abused woman. I was expecting a glossed over story of a strong woman overcoming terrible hardships at the hands of an abusive husband. Act 2 would have her realizing she there was life outside of her marriage, and Act 3 would have her leaving the relationship and bringing her life together (probably with the help of a friend who was saying from the start that her husband was a bastard.)

I couldn't have been more wrong. This is not a heart warming story, a happy story or one that most people even want to admit can happen. With the use of flashbacks, a shockingly realistic portrayal of living with an extremely abusive person unfolds for the viewer. What is shown is surprising considering this is a CBC made for TV movie, but the director does an amazing job of expressing and building the psychological terror the family felt. For example, the scenes at the dinner table, even before anything happens, are gripping because you can feel the immense strain.

During most of the scenes at the families home, I couldn't help but think of 'Das Boot.' The feeling of claustrophobia grows until it feels like the walls are closing in and Billy is everywhere.

The end is so amazingly good, I won't even try to summarize. All I can say is that when I first watched it, it was recommended by our grade 11 law teacher so we could talk about it afterwards. This was the CBC premiere, and to be blunt, I think it permanently damaged a couple of those kids and probably damaged the teachers career.

In short, a great movie that should be seen by many more!