Billy Elliot [DVD] [2000]

Universal presents the inspiring coming-of-age tale Billy Elliott in a lovely 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer. The crisp Dolby Digital Sound makes clear every tap of Billy's amazing feet. In "Billy Elliott: Breaking Free," the 20-minute documentary about the making of the film, director Stephen Daldry and the producers from Working Title discuss the genesis of the film and its long road to production. Still, the feature goes deeper than the usual behind-the-scenes featurette by explaining the significance of the coal miners' strike depicted in the film. For non-Brits in particular, this information brings new understanding of the class struggles and the cultural shift brought on by Margaret Thatcher's quashing of the uprising. The filmmakers express much appreciation for the remarkable Jamie Bell, the young man who plays Billy, and a very amusing interview with co-star Julie Walters is included. Though a commentary track would have added appeal, the disc does include "Production Notes," a "Cast & Crew" section, and the theatrical trailer -- a satisfying, if not exemplary presentation.
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Overview

Ratings & Reviews

Overall Customer Rating:
Rating 4.65 out of 5 stars.
4.7
100% of customers would recommend this product to a friend (3 out of 3)

Special Features

  • "Billy Elliot: Breaking Free": original featurette with a closer look at the making of the film and the talented cast
  • DVD-ROM features: a closer look into the story of Billy Elliot; photo gallery; access to interactive weblinks
  • Production notes
  • Cast and filmmakers
  • Theatrical trailer

Synopsis

Billy Elliot
Brassed Off meets My Name Is Joe in this gritty coming-of-age drama about a young son of a poor English coal miner who dreams of being a ballet dancer. The film is set during a 1984 miners' strike in Durham county, where angry clashes between picketers and cops in riot gear are nearly daily occurrences. Among the most vociferous protestors are Tony (Jamie Driven) and his dad (Gary Lewis), who nags his youngest son Billy (Jamie Bell) into taking boxing classes. Though the kid can do some fancy footwork, he can't take a punch. One day at the gym, he notices a ballet class taught by hard-bitten Mrs. Wilkinson (Julie Walters), whose young daughter dares him to join. When his father gets wind of this less-than-manly pursuit, he pulls him from the class. Sensing a raw and natural talent, Mrs. Wilkinson offers to teach the lad for free in preparation for the local auditions to the Royal Ballet School. When Tony gets in trouble with the cops, Billy is forced to miss the trials, leading to a confrontation between Billy's pop and Ms. Wilkinson. Though at first he steadfastly refuses to consider his son's desires of going into ballet, he comes to realize that this might be the one shot that Billy has in order to escape the danger and grinding tedium of a miner's life, so he sets out to earn the money by any means necessary to send his son to London. This film is the directorial debut of renowned British stage director Stephen Daldry. ~ Jonathan Crow, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • Julie Walters
    Julie Walters - Mrs. Wilkinson
  • Jamie Bell
    Jamie Bell - Billy Elliot
  • Gary Lewis
    Gary Lewis - Dad
  • Image coming soon
    Stuart Wells - Michael
  • Jamie Draven
    Jamie Draven - Tony

Overall Customer Rating

4.7 out of 54.7
3 Reviews
100%of customers recommend this product.

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