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- Billy Elliot
- Runtime:110 min
- Release Date:2014-02-20 18:17:55
- Director: Stephen Daldry
- Genres: Comedy, Drama, Music
MOVIE REVIEW:Billy Elliot
This is a replacement comment.
Though the dance was passable here, the story is so vapid and
unembellished, I sat there looking for another movie. And I found one,
battling to get out. It was clever and true, overlooked because of the
mediocrity placed in front of it. You can find the tragedy of an eleven
year old girl in northern England. Her father was caught in an affair
and also fired, so he sits around the house getting drunk. Meanwhile
the topic of sex (urges, power and denial) pervades every moment of her
Debbie approaches menarche in this atmosphere which heightens her
curiosity about sex. She is rejected by her sexually frustrated mother,
so the attraction of sex combines with a need for companionship. Her
mother starts a ballet class for Debbie and her little girl peers, in
the hope that some of her lost accomplishment and youth will revive, if
not in Debbie, perhaps one of her friends. Thus, Debbie is transformed
into pupil from daughter. But neither Debbie nor any of the other girls
shows any talent or focus.
So her mother seizes on a boy Debbie's same age who wanders in. She
takes advantage of his own lack of identity — exacerbated from the
normal vortex of puberty by sexual confusion and the loss of his
mother. Debbie's mother gives this boy some focus and is able to charm
him into the enterprise of dance.
The core of the film is Debbie's attempts to come to terms with this
usurper sibling, by similarly trying to charm him with anything at her
disposal, including her childish sex. The battle between mother and
daughter for Billy takes on the more abstract battle between the charms
of sex and the drive for personal expression. Much of the real estate
of the film is taken up in Billy's reaction, including some dances
which play out this battle.
There's other guy stuff going on in the background as well, fights and
strikes but they merely are there to provide a loud noise to illustrate
the challenge of little-girlness. Ultimately, Debbie loses the battle
because Billy is really gay (something the mother sees straightaway),
and she is presumably doomed to a wasted life as non-entity in a dying
coal town. (At the end, we see Billy's lover, the grownup, more clearly
gay childhood friend.)
Nicola Blackwell utterly steals this film as Debbie, shining completely
through all the noise and motion that swirls around her. There is an
unforgettable scene where after a pillow fight, with Billy on top of
her, she strokes his cheek– one of the strongest images of the entire
year. (The next time we see her, she plays Lolita, offering herself
opencrotched and lollipop sucking. It is the last time we see her.
Afterwards, her surrogate takes the place: the little blond girl who is
consistently outside his back yard.)
That stroking scene establishes the emotional apogee. She also has the
perigee (the comic center): when walking with Billy, she holds a stick
against the wall, then walks by lined up cops, similarly holding the
stick against their genitals protected by shields.
You might enjoy this — be transported into how a sexually frustrated
little girl imagines the world — much more powerful than 'Dancer in
Brisk and sprightly movie about a little boy growing up in a
working-class English village who wants to train for ballet, much to
the displeasure of his dad.
Jamie Bell gives a tremendous performance as Billy, an angry youngster
who doesn't understand why he should be ashamed of something he loves,
particularly since that something gives him a means of expression for
his juvenile frustration and anger. The other standout is Julie
Walters, spectacular as Billy's firecracker of a dance instructor. A
scene in which she and Billy dance together, giving wild vent to their
love of the art form, is the film's highlight.
this is easily the best dance movie i have ever seen. Little Jamie Bell
has so much energy and charisma that it's just unbelievable.
The film is about finding your passion (oy, it shows that ballet is no
homo, even if your best mate is) and about your parents realizing and
accepting it. The key is never to let go of your visions and dream big.
And hey, who in a million years would choose boxing or wrestling over
dance? That's my question of the day.
Dance to express. And that's all Billy does. Unleashing all the pain
and negative energy by dancing, Billy manages to impress everyone, and
finally fulfil his dream of becoming a real ballet dancer. Because
dancers are athletes, just like all the boxers and football players who
dwell in that little mining town.
The actors do very well, especially Billy and his family. I'm not even
going to tell about Julie Walters, brilliant as ever. Jackie Elliot is
so dominant and powerful, i would certainly not dare to cross him as a
father in this film. "Boys don't do ballet! Arghhhh!" All in all, Billy
Elliot is an excellent watch, refreshing, touching, emotional,
sensible, funny and has heart. I could go on for another hundred words.
"I feel like flying, like a bird, like electricity." That's all dancing
is about. I really liked this movie. Big time.
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