Billy Elliot

BillyElliotBBBB.5

(out of 5)

Those who are expecting a hilarious comedy in the vein of Four Weddings and a Funeral that is promised on the posters for this film will be severely shocked to see that they have been misled: shocked, but by no means disappointed. It is instead a beautiful and poignant tale of a young man whose dreams are just too big for the sleepy town around him. Billy (an astonishingly good Jamie Bell) lives in Durham (northern England) and one day is captivated during boxing practice when a girls’ ballet class shares the same gym his team is using. When he is accidentally invited to dance with the young ladies, he finds himself unable to suppress his desire to release all the power inside him through his new found hobby.  Julie Walters is excellent as the teacher who guides him through his burgeoning self-discovery, a role that showcases her better on this side of the ocean than any since Lewis Gilbert’s Educating Rita. Gary Lewis is equally brilliant as the ex-boxing champion father, now a miner on strike, who just can’t understand the new direction his son has taken. The film is gorgeously lush, rich with real emotions and endearing characters, fantastic choreography and always manages to be touching without ever resorting to sentimental treacle. Don’t miss it.

United Kingdom/France, 2000

Directed by Stephen Daldry

Screenplay by Lee Hall

Cinematography by Brian Tufano

Film Festivals:  TIFF 2000

Academy Award Nominations
Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Julie Walters as “Mrs. Wilkinson”)
Best Directing (Stephen Daldry)
Best Writing (Screenplay Written Directly For The Screen (Lee Hall)

Golden Globe Award Nominations
Best Motion Picture-Drama
Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture (Julie Walters)

National Board Of Review Awards
Best Breakthrough Performance-Male (Jamie Bell)
Top Ten Films

Screen Actors Guild Award Nominations
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role (Jamie Bell)
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role (Julie Walters)
Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture

Writers Guild Award Nomination
Best Original Screenplay

British Academy Awards
Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role (Jamie Bell)
Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role (Julie Walters)
Alexander Korda Award for Best British Film

Nominations
Best Film
Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role (Gary Lewis)
Best Screenplay – Original
Best Cinematography
Best Sound
Best Editing
David Lean Award for Direction (Stehpen Daldry)
Anthony Asquith Award for Film Music
Carl Foreman Award For The Most Promising Newcomer (Stephen Daldry)
Carl Foreman Award For The Most Promising Newcomer (Lee Hall)

European Film Award Nominations
Best European Film
Best European Actor (Jamie Bell)
Best European Actress (Julie Walters)

Cesar Award Nomination
Best Foreign Film

Boston Film Critics Award Nominations
Best Supporting Actress (Julie Walters)
Best New Filmmaker

Goya Award Nomination
Best European Film

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