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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "I want to be a ballet dancer!"
Billy Elliot (Jamie Bell) lives in a working-class village in northern England, where his father and brother, both miners, have been on strike and times are tough. Billy, who is eleven, loves music, and one day he leaves his boxing class at the local gym and joins the girls' ballet class, taught by Mrs. Wilkinson (Julie Walters). With a lot of practice, Billy becomes so...
Published on 20 Oct 2005 by Kona

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars brilliant movie - poor audio tracks on bothe feature and bonus DVDs
The item (Billy Elliot (2 Disc Special Edition)) arrived as described except for the poor quality of the audio tracks on both feature film and bonus DVDs.
I am disappointed at the quality of the audio track on both the feature film and the bonus DVD.
Even put at the loudest, the volume is just enough to enjoy the features.
Too bad, because the movie has a...
Published 21 months ago by isa


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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "I want to be a ballet dancer!", 20 Oct 2005
By 
Kona (Emerald City) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Billy Elliot (2 Disc Special Edition) [DVD] (DVD)
Billy Elliot (Jamie Bell) lives in a working-class village in northern England, where his father and brother, both miners, have been on strike and times are tough. Billy, who is eleven, loves music, and one day he leaves his boxing class at the local gym and joins the girls' ballet class, taught by Mrs. Wilkinson (Julie Walters). With a lot of practice, Billy becomes so good that she thinks he should audition for the Royal Ballet School in London. This would be the chance of a lifetime, but Billy's father doesn't know he's been dancing; he thinks ballet is for just for girls.
I love this movie. It is charming, honest, and uplifting. Gary Lewis is wonderful as Billy's father. We see him change from a bitter, defeated man to a proud and happy dad. Julie Walters gives a heartfelt performance as the tough teacher with a heart of gold. Jamie Bell, in his movie debut, is natural and sweet, a good dancer, and a sensitive actor. This is a movie you'll want to enjoy more than once because it's such a touching, feel-good story.
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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing, 20 Jun 2005
This review is from: Billy Elliot (2 Disc Special Edition) [DVD] (DVD)
From the opening titles i knew i would love this film, and i did. Its so fantastically written and brilliantly acted. Anyone who enjoys a nice personal small scale story will love this film. Its a well known story, but for those that dont know, it basicalls evolves around a young boy (Billy) who aspires to be a ballet dancer much to the disapproval or his recently widowed father and his older brother. All this happens in the midst of the mining strikes that dominated the news in much of the 80's. The same strikes that his brother and father are caught up in. Its wonderfully witty, poignant and very powerful in places. Its a great film!
Anyone who has seen the film already and wants to know what the difference is between this DVD and the one previous, well theres a lot more to be seen on this new edition. It has some great making of's and features on the characters that have never been seen before. Theres also two great documentaries about Billy Elliot The Musical (which looks to be great!) There are some great previews and teasers that will have you booking tickets to go and see it!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE ELEVATION OF BILLY, 3 Aug 2002
This review is from: Billy Elliot [DVD] [2000] (DVD)
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Does the perfect movie exist? Billy Elliot must come very close. From its brilliant casting, to clever cinematography to ... foot stomping choreography, this movie has got it all. The freshness and originality of Billy Elliot almost jumps off the screen. The British production house, Working Title Films over the last five years or so have had some great hits: Four Weddings and a Funeral, Notting Hill, Bridget Jones's Diary, Elizabeth and in late 2000 we got Billy Elliot. They take great risks by using untried scriptwriters, directors and young actors and somehow have produced a string of fabulous movies.
The plot of Billy Elliot is simple enough; a North Country lad from a coal mining family discovers the joys of dance. Against opposition from his father and elder brother, young Billy discovers himself and his talents. All this happens within the vortex of Margaret Thatcher's mid-1980's economic and social revolution, which swirls around them.
At first glance, you might be tempted to classify Billy Elliot into the well-trodden school of gritty, British social realism, best expressed by Ken Loach of Cathy Come Home fame. Although mostly set in a working class world, the direction and camera work captures scenes of outstanding beauty. Cranes and bridges move like graceful, colourful birds; a kitchen table containing just two sauce bottles and duck-egg blue salt and pepper shakers has the aesthetics of an Old Master's still life.
The film's Director of Photography, Brian Tufano, has been quoted as saying, "... framing, composition, colours and texture are the elements you need to convey a story." Some scenes captured by Tufano's camera are nothing short of magical. We have Billy and his girlfriend Debbie walking past a wall of riot-shielded policemen. She nonchalantly rattles a stick along the shields and then she passes behind a parked police van. The van moves off and Debbie has disappeared. Has she been beamed up or abducted?
Billy's elder brother, Tony, a hotheaded union agitator, is chased along the streets near the Elliot family's terrace house. The lanes are full of virginal white, bedsheets hanging out to dry. Tony gets caught up in these as the police lay into him with their truncheons. We have the understatement of only seeing his blood seeping through the shroud-like sheets. If this movie were out of today's Hollywood, it would have been full-on gore. Despite the drama and action in this scene, it has an almost comic touch, with the soundtrack giving us The Clash doing London Calling. The chase through the streets and houses could come straight from a Max Sennet Keystone Cops movie from the 1920s.
In the reconciliation scene between Billy and his Dad, we see the two of them perched on a fence. A cemetery - where Billy's Mum lies buried - is in the foreground. Behind the fence is a field of golden ripe corn and on the skyline there are the sinister looking headframes of the coal mines. When we see the two of them wrestling and laughing in the cornfield, we are reminded that truly emotionally moving scenes in movies are possible without relying on Hollywood's formulaic schmaltz.
The blending of classical and contemporary music throughout the movie, both as a setting for the dance routines and as background music is natural and seamless. The climactic final scene, which is set 14 years later, has Billy debuting in a starring role in the Royal Ballet's Swan Lake. The build-up and tension from Tchaikovsky's music takes us to that transcending moment where Billy launches himself into a grand jete, where he seems to float in space.
Billy Elliot is a film that appeals at many levels, but the best recommendation is to just sit back and enjoy one of the best movies you will see in a long time.
As a footnote, it's worth seeing the DVD version of the movie since the subtitles will really help you get the most from the subtle nuances in the thickly accented dialogue.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Amazing!, 16 Nov 2005
By 
Mr Paul S Bowdrey (READING, Berkshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Billy Elliot (2 Disc Special Edition) [DVD] (DVD)
The most imaginative film for years. Made even more significant by the stage play at the Victoria Palace Theatre, London - Billy Elliot The Musical. For anyone who remembers the 1984 miners strike and the heartbreak it caused to thousands of people, the film and play create a beautiful harmony of tears and joy. For anyone going to watch the musical, watch this DVD first. Once seen, the musical becomes even better. Stephen Daldry (The Director) and his fellow Producers capture the scenes perfectly in both. The same creative team who wrote the film also wrote the musical with the addition of Elton John who adds the music. The actors in both the the film and stage play are exceptional. The boys that play Billy are highly talented as are the experienced casts. Don't miss either this film or the musical. Some advice about tickets for Billy Elliot The Musical... they are very hard to get as the performances are VERY booked up! However, the wait is definately worth it and you will be left with a memory of seeing the best London theatre show in your life!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The story of Billy Elliot...and all he wants to do is dance, 29 Jan 2003
By A Customer
We have seen the story in "Billy Elliot" dozens of times before, but the reason we see it over and over again is because sometimes it works. This time the kid with a dream is an 11-year old boy in a Northern English coal town in 1984, who gets it into his head that he would rather be a ballet dancer than a boxer. Billy Elliot (Jamie Bell) appears to be gangly and he cannot box, but when he suddenly finds himself taking part in a ballet class for reasons that are never articulated, he achieves a moment of perfect grace that becomes the foundation for everything that is to come.
"Billy Elliot" also owes something to other recent British imports like "Brassed Off!" and "The Full Monty," which combine comedy and social consciousness in a manner calculated to please viewers. Writer Lee Hall takes the time and place into account in putting up a series of formidable obstacles in young Billy's way. Billy's mother has died and the chain-smoking lady who teaches ballet, Mrs. Wilkinson (Julie Walters), obviously takes her place. This is good because because neither his father (Gary Lewis) or his older brother (Jamie Draven) are both coal miners who cannot stand the idea that Billy would be a ballet dancer and immediately jump to the conclusion that he must be a "poof." To make things worse, the coal mine is on strike, and this is more than a minor sub-plot in the film. The police are always clashing with the strikers, who make it very clear how they feel about scabs, and provides the film with a sense of poverty and social injustice. So there is no money coming into the house, and 50 pence for anything, let along ballet lessons, is hard to come by.
Billy has no doubts about his sexuality, not after a pillow fight with Mrs. Wilkinson's daughter, Debbie (Nicola Blackwell), but there are questions about his friend Michael (Stuart Wells). Having been subjected to his father's prejudice on the subject, Billy is more inclined to be open minded with his friend. But throughout the film Billy finds himself incapable of articulating what he feels to his father, and when it comes to the crucial moment and Billy is confronted with his father's embarrassment he finally does in public what he has been doing for quite a while in private: he dances.
Until that moment the film has belonged to Billy and Mrs. Wilkinson, but now the dynamic changes and Billy's dad tries to help his son with his quest: an audition for the Royal School of Ballet. Loach's performance as the final pillar of his character's world collapses makes the character's actions, which could be considered to be totally unrealistic for a striking British coal miner, work within the context of the film.
At the end the film becomes more commonplace, but then it really it is hard to come up with a new twist on a dance audition and if this one makes you think of "Flashdance," try and think of what they could have done in the alternative. Still, this film succeeds mainly because of Jamie Bell's performance. Most of the key moments in this film are non-verbal, relying entirely on Stephen Daldry's camera direction and Bell's dancing. Whatever faults the film has are redeemed in those moments and the payoff for the film becomes the look on the face of a father when he is finally able to allow himself to appreciate his son, the ballet dancer.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars its soooooooooo amazing, 5 Aug 2004
This review is from: Billy Elliot [DVD] [2000] (DVD)
i think this film was amazing. i tootaly loved it. i cried at the end and laughed most of the way threw. the music was great ( well done t-rex)and the acting was amazing.jamie bell was totally amazing. he was so involved, and devoted to his acting. he could play any emotion. anger, crying, laughter. you name it he did it. i also though julia walters, was amazing in it! very funny (as usual) i loved this film.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It'll make you laugh and cry all at the same time, 4 Jan 2004
This review is from: Billy Elliot [DVD] [2000] (DVD)
When this film first came out in 2000, i was never much interested in going to see it despite the great write-ups that it had been given. I mean, i boxer turned ballet dancer. It didn't sound much of a storyline to me. However, when it came on TV, i thought why not give it a try, afterall what have i got to lose. I am now very glad that i did watch it, because it is far more than just a boy who wants to be a ballarine, it also shows the political things that were happening in 1984 and the deep emotions that people were going through at the time..
The film basically works on two main levels. It tells the story of a young boy called Billy who wants to be a ballet dancer, but his Dad and older Brother refuse the idea as they have been brought up on boxing, the 'mens' sport. Despite this, he still goes to ballet lessons and auditions for the 'Royal Ballet School' in London, and Billy must chose between his family and friends or his dream of being a ballet dancer.
Its also tells the story of the miners who went on strike in 1984. As Billy's Dad and brother, are miners, we see how they cope with all that, and raise Billy at the same time.
The acting in this film is nothing to be stiffed at and Jamie Bell (Billy) deserves all the credit that he gets because his performance is just amazing, probably the best i have ever seen from a child actor.
This is a must-see film for anyone who likes this kind of thing (which unfortuneatly i don't) and you will be guarenteed to get hours of entertainment from it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars brilliant movie - poor audio tracks on bothe feature and bonus DVDs, 15 Mar 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Billy Elliot (2 Disc Special Edition) [DVD] (DVD)
The item (Billy Elliot (2 Disc Special Edition)) arrived as described except for the poor quality of the audio tracks on both feature film and bonus DVDs.
I am disappointed at the quality of the audio track on both the feature film and the bonus DVD.
Even put at the loudest, the volume is just enough to enjoy the features.
Too bad, because the movie has a lot of witty dialogues!
and the bonus has enough comments that would be appreciated a little louder.
Why do distributors / producers not pay more attention to this important detail?
It would be nice to be able to forward this remark to those who can change things.
I don't what is the quality of the single DVD edition.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the most moving films ever, definitely!, 18 July 2001
Quite simply, this is a masterpiece. Excellent script, superb acting and a combination of other factors make this one of the most moving films ever. Not perfect in every sense, but the slight shortcomings are easy to forgive. Jamie Bell is truly amazing as Billy Elliot, and it is his acting and low-key charisma more than anything else that make this film such a piece of magic that it is.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An understated masterpiece, 20 Mar 2003
This review is from: Billy Elliot [DVD] [2000] (DVD)
Set against the grim backdrop of a northern town in the middle of the coal strikes, this film takes a simple tale and turns it into a masterpiece. Following the story of Billy, a young boy with a passion & talent for ballet, the film takes us through all the trials & tribulations as Billy finds his way in the world and escapes the hopeless life which would otherwise face him. The film has it all - a sharp script, wonderful characterisation, superb, directing & cinematography and a wonderful, dry wit. The film oozes passion and intensity and Julie Walters & Jamie Bell give outstanding performances. In many ways the film is beautifully understated, yet the power evoked by the dance sequences will send shivers down your spine.
I challenge anyone to watch this film without being moved to their very core!
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Billy Elliot (2 Disc Special Edition) [DVD]
Billy Elliot (2 Disc Special Edition) [DVD] by Stephen Daldry (DVD - 2005)
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