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Billy Elliot is a 2000 British drama film written by Lee Hall and directed by Stephen Daldry. Set in the fictional town of 'Everington' in the real County Durham, UKmarker, it stars Jamie Bell as 11-year-old Billy, an aspiring dancer, Gary Lewis as his coal miner father, Jamie Draven as Billy's older brother, and Julie Walters as his ballet teacher. In 2001, author Melvin Burgess was commissioned to write the novelization of the film based on Lee Hall's screenplay. The story was adapted for the West Endmarker stage as Billy Elliot the Musical in 2005; it opened in Australia in 2007 and Broadwaymarker in 2008.

The film was theatrically released by the Motion Picture Association of America with an R rating for "language", when released on video, the film was re-cut to a PG-13 for "some thematic elements"; this cut version removes many of the used F-words.


.The film is set during the UK miners' strike and centers on the life of Billy (Jamie Bell), his love of dance and his hope to become a professional ballet dancer. Billy's father (Gary Lewis) and brother Tony (Jamie Draven) are both out on strike. Billy's mother is no longer alive and Billy and Tony's nan (Jean Heywood) also lives with the family.

Billy is taken to the boxing gym by his father, but he finds out that he doesn't really like the sport. Part of the boxing gym is used by a ballet class because their usual studio in the basement of the sports centre is being used as a soup kitchen for the striking miners. He is drawn in by the ballet teacher (Julie Walters), and with her help, secretly starts taking ballet class. Billy's father finds out after the boxing teacher makes comment of Billy's absence. Billy is then forbidden to dance but continues secretly because he is becoming passionate about it.

As a consequence of Tony being arrested during a confrontation between police and striking miners, Billy misses an important audition for the Royal Ballet Schoolmarker. His ballet teacher goes to their house to tell his father about the missed opportunity. Billy's father and brother, fearing that Billy will be seen as a "poof", become outraged at the idea of him becoming a professional ballet dancer.

Once having seen Billy dance however, his father understands that ballet is Billy's passion; and he takes him to an audition for the Ballet himself. Billy is accepted to the Royal Ballet, and moves out on his own at age 11 to attend the school.

The film ends with a scene that takes place about 14 years later, where Billy has finally reached his goal through dancing: the older Billy (dancer/actor Adam Cooper) takes the stage to perform the lead in Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake.


  • Jamie Bell as Billy Elliot
  • Julie Walters as Mrs. Georgia Wilkinson
  • Gary Lewis as Jackie Elliot
  • Jamie Draven as Tony Elliot
  • Jean Heywood as Grandma
  • Stuart Wells as Michael Caffrey
  • Nicola Blackwell as Debbie Wilkinson
  • Colin Maclachlan as Mr. Tom Wilkinson
  • Billy Fane as Mr. Braithwaite
  • Janine Blirkett as Jenny Elliot
  • Adam Cooper as Billy Elliot, age 25
  • Merryn Owen as Michael Caffrey, age 25


Street scenes were filmed in Easington, County Durhammarker, a former mining village. As Easington Collierymarker closed in 1983 the mining scenes were filmed at the Ellington and Lynemouthmarker colliery in Northumberland, with some filming in Dawdonmarker and Newcastle upon Tynemarker. The producers used over 400 Easington people as extras.

Awards and nominations

The film was nominated and won awards worldwide including the following.


  • Nominated - Academy Awards, USA - Best Actress in a Supporting Role - Julie Walters
  • Nominated - Academy Awards, USA - Best Director - Stephen Daldry
  • Nominated - Academy Awards, USA - Best Writing in a Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen - Lee Hall
  • Won - Amanda Awards, Norway - Best Foreign Feature Film
  • Nominated - American Cinema Editors, USA - Best Edited Dramatic Feature Film - John Wilson
  • Nominated - Angel Awards, - Best Feature Film
  • Nominated - Art Directors Guild, - Feature Film
  • Nominated - Australian Film Institute, - Best Foreign Film Award
  • Won - BAFTA Awards, - Alexander Korda Award for Best British Film
  • Won - BAFTA Awards, - Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role - Jamie Bell
  • Won - BAFTA Awards, - Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role - Julie Walters
  • Won - London Critics Circle Film Awards, - British Actress of the Year - Julie Walters
  • Nominated - Golden Globe Awards, USA - Best Motion Picture - Drama

In 2004, the magazine Total Film named Billy Elliot the 39th greatest British film of all time.


The soundtrack includes several well-known rock and punk rock songs:
  1. "Cosmic Dancer" - T.Rex
  2. "Get It On " - T.Rex
  3. "Town Called Malice" - The Jam
  4. "I Love to Boogie" - T.Rex
  5. "London Calling" - The Clash
  6. "Children of the Revolution" - T.Rex
  7. "Shout to the Top" - The Style Council
  8. "Walls Come Tumbling Down" - The Style Council
  9. "Ride a White Swan" - T.Rex
  10. "Burning Up" - Eagle Eye Cherry

See also


  1. "Billy Elliot", BBC Tyne feature, 17/10/06
  2. "Easington Colliery", Durham Mining Museum

External links

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