Excellent, Without a doubt!!
Entertaining from beginning to end, it maintains the spirit of the franchise while establishing it's own seal with a fun cast
The film makes a home in your brain and the only cure is to see it again.
The best films of this genre always show a path and provide a takeaway for being a better person.
Where I thought this film was going in the early stages was for Billy (Jamie Bell) to take up ballet dancing as a way to improve his stamina and footwork for the boxing ring. That would have made sense in what appeared to be a fairly male dominated society in an English county reliant on coal mining for it's livelihood. Even though Billy's Father (Gary Lewis) and older brother Tony (Jamie Draven) initially derided his dancing initiative, there comes a point in the story when the coal strike takes it's toll, and it's understood that the mining industry is all but over, and ballet may be the only way out of poverty for the youngest son. The film follows somewhat of a standard formula which includes a supportive and sympathetic dance instructor (Julie Walters), snickers from the sidelines over Billy's decision to dance, and a close friend who's friendship with Billy is tested regarding his sexuality. None of these factors ever seem to reach a critical point that would have broken the resolve of a less committed individual, and therefore Billy's struggle doesn't have the kind of epic feel similar stories tend to have. It's not bad mind you, it's just that Billy's struggle never really faced a crucial test, even with the audition for the Royal Ballet. Yes, there was some tension built in waiting for Billy's acceptance, but by that time it's pretty well recognized by the viewer that the film isn't going to let you down.I recall that the movie received generally positive reviews when it first came out. This was my first viewing, and for a film nominally regarded as family fare, it probably could have done with a lot less use of the 'F' word and swearing in general, particularly by the principal character. Maybe my expectations on that are somewhat out of date, but I have a thirteen year old grandson who doesn't use the kind of colorful language Billy did. I don't think removing the obscenities would be any kind of handicap, in fact if it's not there, who's going to miss it?
I was forced to watch Billy Elliot when I was younger in high school as part of film study. I disliked it then but as time goes on and you grow up I thought I would find some appreciation for it. It didn't happen, in fact, I see further frustrations in this mediocre and terrible film. While it may be grounded in realism, the story and setting of rural England does not make good story telling or directing. It is a painful experience to watch a boring child who hails from an even more boring family and town try and be a ballet dancer. The story was so bland and dull and none of the acting performances really stand out. The funny thing is this film could have been made beautifully. Directors have done wonders with less interesting stories through good directing, symbolism, storytelling and soundtrack. This was a horrible and terrible mess. An absolute travesty that must be avoided.
Set against the backdrop of the strikes at the UK's mines, young boy Billy Elliott discovers his love for dance. He finds opposition within his dysfunctional family but the love isn't set to die out.The most remarkable of this entertaining movie is the young protagonist's (Jamie Bell) performance. It stands out to the others' more hesitant portrayals of struggling individuals.The emotional evolutions the characters undergo sometimes lack credibility. However, it is compensated by the creative depiction of the raw reality of the UK's 1980s. Another strong point is that the film takes the children's point of view. Often insecure, they try to cope with the big and small things in life. At the same time, the adults around them display emotional struggle as they haven't managed to cope.This is no movie for children, despite the character's young age. Interesting themes as family, hopes, unprocessed emotions are mixed together in this enjoyable feel-good movie.
It's Durham Coalfield, North East England 1984. There is a violent strike against Thatcher and the scabs working the coal mines. Billy Elliot (Jamie Bell) lives with widower father Jackie (Gary Lewis) and older brother Tony. Both of them are former miners who would take a dim view of Billy's love of dance. His Grandma is losing her mind. Instead of boxing, he starts going to Mrs. Wilkinson (Julie Walters)'s all girls ballet class.Director Stephen Daldry is trying too hard to cute this one up. Billy doesn't have to dance in the boxing ring. He just has to be pathetic. Jamie Bell is a good little actor but he looks too angry to be funny. His jumping around is quirky but not hilarious. He's better to be quietly hiding instead of confronting his father. I wouldn't call this feel-good. It's Julie Walters and Gary Lewis who elevates the material. They're are a couple of veteran actors who bring substance to this fanciful tale.