"You're crap at boxin'"
Billy Elliot
Review by Ross Anthony

I've been choked up by a film here and there, but it's been a while since a film put tears in the eyes of this reviewer (not even "Dancer in the Dark" did that). But it wasn't just me, applause could be heard at the screening's close and then again a reprise of clapping at the end of the credits.

Billy's mom died some time ago, he shares a room with his rough brother Tony who's been picketing for many months along with half the town's miners. Dad is included in that out-of-work bunch. On this poorer side of town, fists often settle disagreements that cuss words can't bluff. It's in this environment that Billy is sent off to boxing lessons at Billy Elliotthe local gym. But in a sort of twisted convex mirror image of "Girlfight," Billy becomes much more interested in a ballet class that shares the facility.

Secretly using his boxing money for ballet, Billy must come to terms with his own dancing ambitions in the midst of family adversity and the turmoil of a town pitting riot police between strikers and scabs.

Listen carefully, juicy (often punctuated with swear words) dialogue salts this tender script. "Just because I like ballet, doesn't mean I'm a poof."

Billy to brother as they lie in bed, "Tony, you ever think 'bout death?"
Tony, "F' off."

Young friend Debbie says of her parents, "They sleep in separate beds."
Billy asks, "Why they do that?"
Debbie, "So they can't have sex."

The British dialect is thick and appropriately slang indulgent. Check out http://www.peevish.co.uk/slang as prep for the film, or just because it's amusing.

Classic bands of the seventies (T-Rex, The Clash, etc.) rock the audio track while the tough-skinned Billy gets comfortable with tap-dancing in a town of manly men. A couple of his solo dance scene's pack as much punch as the rocky family emotions this pressured group must learn to contain. Bold script, acting, direction, and strong story telling fuel this strong story.

  • Billy Elliot. Copyright © 2000.
  • Starring Jamie Bell, Gary Lewis, Julie Walters, Jamie Draven, Adam Cooper.
  • Directed by Stephen Daldry.
  • Written by Lee Hall.
  • Produced by Greg Brenman, Jon Finn at Working Title/BBC/Arts Council of England/Tirger Aspect/WT2/Universal.


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Copyright © 1998-2023 Ross Anthony, Author - Speaker - Solo World Circumnavigator In addition to reviewing films and interviewing celebs at HollywoodReportCard.com, traveling the world, composing great music, motivational speaking, Mr. Anthony also runs his own publishing company in the Los Angeles area. While traversing the circumference of the planet writing books and shooting documentaries, Mr. Anthony has taught, presented for, worked &/or played with locals in over 30 countries & 100 cities (Nairobi to Nagasaki). He's bungee-jumped from a bridge near Victoria Falls, wrestled with lions in Zimbabwe, crashed a Vespa off a high mountain road in Taiwan, and ridden a dirt bike across the States (Washington State to Washington DC). To get signed books ("Rodney Appleseed" to "Jinshirou") or schedule Ross to speak check out: www.RossAnthony.com or call 1-800-767-7186. Go into the world and inspire the people you meet with your love, kindness, and whatever it is you're really good at. Check out books by Ross Anthony. Rand() functions, Pho chicken soup, rollerblading, and frozen yogurt (w/ blueberries) also rock! (Btw, rand is short for random. It can also stand for "Really Awkward Nutty Dinosaurs" -- which is quite rand, isn't it?) Being alive is the miracle. Special thanks to Ken Kocanda, HAL, Jodie Keszek, Don Haderlein, Mom and Pops, my family, R. Foss, and many others by Ross Anthony. Galati-FE also deserves a shout out. And thanks to all of you for your interest and optimism. Enjoy great films, read stirring novels, grow.

Last Modified: Thursday, 24-Feb-2011 08:49:28 PST