Billy ElliotSeptember 29, 2000
A talented young boy becomes torn between his unexpected love of dance and the disintegration of his family.
Release Year: 2000
Rating: 7.7/10 (52,434 voted)
Critic's Score: 74/100
Stars: Jamie Bell, Julie Walters, Jean Heywood
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.
Dad (Jackie Elliot)
Mr. Tom Wilkinson
(as Colin Maclachlan)
PC Jeff Peverly
Inside every one of us is a special talent waiting to come out. The trick is finding it.
Release Date: 29 September 2000
Filming Locations: Canary Wharf Underground Station, Canary Wharf, Isle of Dogs, London, England, UK
Box Office Details
Opening Weekend: £1,541,109
(1 October 2000)
Did You Know?
When Elton John first saw the film at Cannes he immediately pitched the idea of making a stage musical of it to director Stephen Daldry.
When Jackie is on the bus taking him back to the mines, the strikers pull the protective cage off the window of the right side of the bus. Moments later when the bus pulls into the coal yard, all the windows on the right of the bus have the protective caging.
Find a place on that bloody wall and focus on that spot. Then whip your head 'round and come back to that spot. Prepare!
Billy Elliot – The Class of 2000
To say that Billy Elliot is the best movie of 2000 is to damn it with
praise, since this year's crop is pretty uninspiring. Better to compare it
to movies of the past few years, and even then it would stand out. It is a
phenomenally good film, and perhaps even groundbreaking in its own way,
since it goes against the trend of quirky, violent, sex-obsessed
that's become so popular recently. We've finally been given a film with a
good, almost mythic story, complicated yet believable characters, a
masterful blend of emotional intensity and critical restraint, and a
of dance scenes that are authentic, inspiring and completely integral to
No wonder critics have been falling over themselves in heaping praise on
Billy Elliot. No wonder it's been holding its own in the box office
being shown in a mere handful of theatres (one-quarter to one- sixth as
as the big Hollywood blockbusters) and despite its receiving hardly any
promotion at the moment. Its success is being driven by word of mouth. And
what is the word? Here is a movie that appeals to your heart, head, funny
bone, eyes and ears, and last but not least your feet, for the music and
movement will have you wanting to get up and dance. And it achieves all of
this without insulting the intelligence. I sometimes wonder how the movie
would have been done by Hollywood: Billy would have been made a more
pathetic figure; the people in his life rendered more black and white;
characters would have either remained caricatures, or made to develop in
blink of an eye. All such excesses are avoided in Billy Elliot, where the
characters develop in a totally believable way, where Billy invites
admiration instead of pity, and where the silences, looks and gestures all
leave so much to the imagination. The dictum "Less is more" is clearly the
guiding principle behind the film.
The buzz for Billy has been so positive that people sometimes come away
disappointed that their lives haven't been changed. So don't go expecting
"knock 'em dead" Hollywood rollercoaster. Billy Elliot is far more subtle,
though the emotional moments are all the more powerful because of that.
can however believe everything that has been said of Jamie Bell. He has an
outstanding screen presence and carries the movie on his little shoulders
with breath-taking naturalism. His dancing is honest and powerful, and
masculine. He makes you forget that all the other actors give the
performances of their careers in support. If the Oscar were awarded
consideration for age, career, box office draw or Hollywood clout, Jamie
his movie would win hands down.