October 21st, 2015

Billy Elliot (2000)...

~Wednesday~ Bob owned a VHS copy of Billy Elliot (2000), and I'd never seen it, so he watched it with me.

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 synopsis

The 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.

The trailer

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?