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Billy Elliot

4.6 out of 5 stars 686 customer reviews

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(Apr 17, 2001)
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Editorial Reviews

"Two Thumbs Up!" rave Roger Ebert and Richard Roeper, Ebert & Roeper and the Movies. Billy Elliot is the heartwarming story of a young boy from a working-class family who discovers a passion that will change his life forever. Eleven-year-old miner's son Billy Elliot is on his way to boxing lessons when he stumbles upon a ballet class. Billy secretly joins the class, knowing that his blue-collar family would never understand. Under the guidance of his teacher Mrs. Wilkinson (Academy Award-nominee Julie Walters), Billy's raw talent takes flight. But when his father discovers his son's ambition, Billy must fight for his dreams and his destiny. With Oscar-worthy performances, Rex Reed (The New York Observer) calls "a triumph!" Don't miss Billy Elliot - the triumphant tale of one boy who reaches beyond his place in the world to follow his heart's desire.

Special Features

  • Billy Elliot: Breaking Free
  • Trailer
  • Production Notes
  • Cast and Filmmakers
  • Recommendations
  • DVD-ROM Features

  • Product Details

    • Actors: Julie Walters, Jamie Bell, Jamie Draven, Gary Lewis (III), Jean Heywood
    • Directors: Stephen Daldry
    • Writers: Lee Hall
    • Producers: Trevor Fox, Carol McGuigan, Charlie Hardwick, Matthew Thomas, Zoë Ball
    • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
    • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1)
    • Dubbed: French
    • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
    • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
    • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
    • Number of discs: 1
    • Rated:
      R
      Restricted
    • Studio: Universal Studios Home Entertainment
    • DVD Release Date: April 17, 2001
    • Run Time: 111 minutes
    • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (686 customer reviews)
    • ASIN: B00003CXPD
    • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,886 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
    • Learn more about "Billy Elliot" on IMDb

    Customer Reviews

    Top Customer Reviews

    By Chris Lund on December 2, 2000
    Beginning with an exuberant title sequence, this charming, offbeat, coming-of-age story revolves around Billy Elliot (Jamie Bell), the younger of two sons of a widower coal miner (Gary Lewis) near Newcastle in Northern England. It's 1984, and the National Union of Mine Workers is engaged in a long, bitter strike, marked by street battles with riot police and protests against the busloads of scabs crossing the picket lines.
    Following the family tradition, Billy is expected to learn boxing at the Everington Boys Club where, instead, the 11 year-old becomes enthralled by the girls' dancing class, led by a chain-smoking teacher (Julie Walters) who soon recognizes his raw talent. He loves watching Fred Astaire in old movies and is instantly drawn towards the ballet class, but when his macho father and rabble-rousing brother (Jamie Draven) discover he's taking ballet classes, they ridicule Billy - "Lads do boxing and football and wrestling, not friggin' ballet!" - forcing him to hide his slippers under the mattress and sneak off to class. Then come the auditions for the Royal Ballet School and Billy's defiantly joyful, foot-stompin' "I Want to Boogie" sequence.
    What makes this heartfelt English import such a gem is the collaboration of screenwriter Lee Hall, cinematographer Brian Tufano ("Trainspotting") and former stage director Stephen Daldry ("An Inspector Calls"), who - despite the simplistic predictability of the plot - create eccentric, lovable characters and evocative imagery. One haunting sequences focuses on a little neighborhood girl dragging a stick along a brick wall, which dissolves into a phalanx of plastic police shields. Another involves the father grimly chopping up Billy's mother's beloved piano for needed firewood.
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    Format: DVD
    Jamie Bell is pure magic in this wonderful coming-0f-age film that tells the story of a working class English lad who takes up ballet as a way to hone his boxing skills. In the process, he discovers himself, learnes some valuable life lessons, and fills a deep void left by the death of his beloved mum. Despite his family's strong objections (and financial straits) Billy ends up studying dance from a local teacher (the effervescent Julie Walters, who won an Oscar nomination for her work here). Her lessons - both technical and moral - serve as the basis for a devastatingly real connection between Billy and his disgusted macho father. What ensues is a dramatic comedy that inspires us at every turn without condescension or pity. The heartening interaction that develops between father and son is truly evocative, especially so for anyone who ever followed (or didn't) their dreams despite their family's objections. Not only does Billy "Dance!!" for his supper...he befriends the local outcast gay teenager and copes with questions about his own sexual orientation - heady topics for a movie about a dancing teen. All of this is handled in a mature, thoughtful manner, which makes the film a visceral, haunting experience. You can take or leave it's many messages, but theere is no denying its emotional core.
    It's rare for a movie to challenge social mores and values by focusing on the dominant male principals. But "Billy Elliot" succeeds on more levels than other underdog-come-from-behind flicks. First, its based on a true story and resonates with truth, integrity and spirit. And, Bell's brash, authentic portrayal is pure magic. His feet literally take over his soul...he dances in the street, mimmicking Gene Kelly, and in the process taps his way into your heart.
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    Verified Purchase
    If you love intimate, moving character films like Cinema Paradiso, you will love love love Billy Elliot. A small, rousing British film with cleverly written characters, this movie is both sentimental and expertly crafted. The performances, particularly from Julie Walters as the dance instructor, and that winsome, melancholy but excpetionally gifted boy as Billy, will truly steal your heart. The simple premise is instantly grabbing -- an artistic boy, only 11, is unfortunately the most forgotten element in a fractured, sad little family, which includes a pre-Alzheimer's grandmother, an angry older brother and a defeated, sad and tense father. While Dad and bro are on strike, money is tight - the year is 1984 at the height of British strike/tensions. Billy is sent to boxing lessons, where, by happenstance, he discovers a true vent for his budding creativity -- and especially his joy in dancing. Filled with infectiously appealing pop and light-classical music, this film is part Rocky, part Hollywood musical, part Flashdance and part Cinema Paradiso. The chance that these disparate, unlikely approaches might actually add up to something compelling are unlikely, but you must experience this movie to understand how exciting, moving and intensely gratifying it can be. Painted in bold, creative colors and shot with a springy exuberance, Billy Elliot is terrific.
    Comment 59 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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    Format: DVD
    My son dressed up like Beauty(Belle from Beauty and The Beast...not the concept of beauty) for halloween. He dressed like the Mother Superior when we took him to the sing-along Sound Of Music. The other day he got a superman toy and was putting a Barbie Shoe on it. I am living in the world of the unique child.And I know there will be a day where someone will try to change my son........ This is why I cried in Billy Elliot......This is a beautiful film about being different in an uncompromising world. It is a film about economics and society, and how art is developed through frustration and need...but with all that aside it is a truly entertaining and fabulous film. Stephen Daldry, the reknowned theatre director, makes his debut here. The direction is the thing that gives this it's guts. This is a much better film than it needed to be. And the performances....Julie Walters, Jaime Bell and Gary Lewis(such an amazing performance as the dAd)...Just check this out. The movie goes places that you don't expect, and thankfully, places you do. I have just been thinking about the end of the film, and how it is an ugly duckling story...the coolest thing about it is that more than Billy turn into a swan. It seems like the entire community turns swanish. Art and individuality can do that. I was the quasimodo of ducks before my som came along.
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