Monday, 31 January 2011

A-Z #23: Billy Elliot

You can pick up hundreds of DVD's for a buck each - it doesn't matter. Its never about quantity, its about quality. A-Z is my way of going through my collection, from A-Z, and justifying why I own the films...

#23 - Billy Elliot 

Why did I buy it?

I bought this film twice actually. The single-disc on its first release - and the special edition later on. I watched it at the cinema at the tender age of 17 and simply adored it. As lame as it is, there was a point during University whereby I sold off a bunch of older copies of DVD's only to purchase them for a very small amount as special editions. It didn't take long before I realised how truly crap some 'second' discs are. If I'm honest, this 'special edition' only has a couple of 10-minute featurettes on the musical - hardly a worthwhile swap.

Why do I still own it?

I have the intention of writing a post comparing the film with the musical - I hope to do the same with Sister Act, The Lion King and Chicago. But, alas, this is the first post I write regarding the film and it is still in the collection because it is incredible. The soundtrack features The Jam and lots of T-Rex whilst the film presents outstanding performances from Julie Walters, Jamie Bell and that dude from Byker Grove in a minor role as the piano-player ("if you want my opinion, I think you look like a right wanker"). Stephen Daldry (The Hours, The Reader) directs and the writing of Lee Hall (currently writing the film-adaptation of War Horse) pefectly balances the frustrations and anger of the miners strikes during the eighties with a coming-of-age tale as young Billy ("Go-o-o-o Billy!") realises he is a flawless dancer.

Every time I watch the film, as the film ends and the Swan Lake ballet picks up pace, gathering momentum, only to freeze as the now-older Billy balances perfectly in the air mid-performance. It brings emotion to my face every time.

Remember - you can always email The Simon and Jo Film Show directly using this email:
We are also on Twitter  and Facebook.

Large Association of Movie Blogs


  1. And which emotion does it bring to your face? ;)

    Never seen it...I think it's on my list of flicks to see this year, though...

  2. Okay, lets define this 'emotion in the face' thing. Y'know the feeling you get before you cry - whereby all your blood rushes to your face - and often you won't cry (or will stop yourself from crying) - well, you can't stop that emotion-in-your-face... whether you cry or not. (sounds littlle perverse but c'mon... I'm sure extreme happiness and extreme whatever have some biological link)

    You must watch the film though Fletch - considering your aversion to anything pre-1977-that-doesn't-star-Paul-Newman (that would mean, with Brit cinema, no Hitchcock, no David Lean or Carol Reed...) I reckon this would be up there in a Top 5 Brit Films For Fletch list.

  3. Crazy timing - i just saw this on Broadway on Saturday. Now I'm desperate to see the movie again. It's really such a terrific story - tackles the impossibility of making "Bally" macho.

  4. Yeah - i saw the musical on the West End here in London! Like I said ... I must write a comparitive piece!


Copyright 2008-2015. All posts & reviews are property of Columb and should not be reproduced in whole, or in part, without express permission from the author.