There are a couple of reasons why I hadn't seen this movie—one being that I'm not a big fan of ballet and the other being that, in general, I'm not a fan of movie with child stars.
On the other hand, I'd heard great things about it and since Bob owned it, there wasn't a big investment, or risk, involved in giving it a try.
The synopsisThe life of 11-year-old Billy Elliot, a coal miner's son in Northern England, is forever changed one day when he stumbles upon a ballet class during his weekly boxing lesson.
Before long, he finds himself in dance, demonstrating the kind of raw talent seldom seen by the class' exacting instructor, Mrs. Wilkinson. With a tart tongue and a never-ending stream of cigarettes in her hand, Mrs. Wilkinson's zest for teaching is revived when she sees Billy's potential.
My thoughts and observations
- I liked this story well enough, but overall, it was a little too formulaic for my taste, building up to a "Rocky-like" ending that was as predictable as it was good.
- I always tear up at loving and demonstrative father-son relationships, especially those that come after a difficult journey to that point.
- I enjoyed Roger Ebert's review of this movie.
- Themes touched on in this movie included:
- Following your dreams, and at what cost
- Realizing your potential
- Notions of masculinity
- The stereotype that all male ballet dancers are gay
- Job burnout
- Parental belief in, and support of, their children
- I gave this movie one-and-a-half thumbs up.
Have you seen this movie? If so, what did you think of it?