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Billy Elliot


Year: 2000 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: Unknown 
Certificate: BBFC 15 Cert – Not suitable for under 15s 
Subtitles: The level of subtitling in this film is unknown to WSC 
Directed by Stephen Daldry 
Starring: Jamie Bell, Julie Walters, Jean Heywood  

Set against the backdrop of the 1984 Miners� Strike, political and social upheaval collides with one boys dream to dance in this inspiring and moving British classic. After staying behind at a boxing lesson one afternoon, Billy Elliot (Jamie Bell) finds himself accidently immersed in a ballet class, before finding that he possesses an innate gift for the art form. With a mixture of adolescent bewilderment, touching defiance and virulent resilience, Billy is forced to fight for his choice whilst struggling to overcome the hyper-masculine and violent tendencies of his disapproving father and brother who are fundamentally committed to their hopeless and desperate community.

Billy Elliot deals sensitively with the concepts of both gender and class conflict through a series of often heartbreaking yet evolving relationships, with characters so masterfully constructed that the audience cannot fail to empathize with their plight. It must be noted however, that this is by no means a film accommodating to a purely female audience. Whilst the dancing is performed with both gusto and conviction, it merely serves as to vehicle to reflect the frustrations and tensions at the very heart of film. It would be fair to suggest that Billy Elliot provides us with a slightly over-amplified caricature of Northern life, with an excessive use of profanities perhaps frowned upon by more sensitive audiences, yet the narrative alone is so undeniably mesmerizing that we can forgive writer Lee Hall and director Stephen Daldry.

Hope Priddle

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Screenings of this film:

2000/2001 Spring Term (35mm)
2000/2001 Spring Term (35mm)
2013/2014 Spring Term (35mm)