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 took ballet and other dance classes while in secondary school, which caused him to often be ridiculed by his peers. He used some of these experiences as inspiration while playing Billy Elliot. See more »
At the end of the film, when Jackie and Tony take the tube, they are travelling on the Circle line (which would make sense, if they were travelling East from Victoria Coach Station), but appear to alight at Westminster. They are heading for Covent Garden, the location of the Royal Opera House, home of The Royal Ballet-this would be quite a walk-it would make far more sense to travel East another stop to Embankment, and then walk due North to the Garden. See more »
Can you tell us why you first became interested in ballet?
Well was there any particular aspect of the ballet which caught your imagination?
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I went into this movie expecting to hate it, and found myself instantly smiling at the playful opening credits with Billy jumping on a trampoline. From there on it just got better and better. The wasn't even a minor character that I could say needed work. The cast as a whole was brilliant - and surprising at times. The father and brother come off as these one-sided brutal characters in the beginning and then as you watch, they become two of the most well constructed and acted characters this year and for who knows how long. Jaime Bell is brilliant for a first-timer and his dance is wonderful. There are also so many layers to the film. From brilliant cinematography to wonderful symbolism both in the script and in the music (listen for the tune Billy is playing on piano in the main score during the big moments). The music on a whole was brilliantly picked and I don't think a single element was overlooked or addressed. If you haven't seen this movie - GET OFF YOUR BUTT AND INTO THE THEATER! It is truly an experience that everyone should have and I hope to see more from this writer, director and a brilliant new face in Jaime Bell.
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