Billy Elliot

Watch Billy Elliot

"Inside every one of us is a special talent waiting to come out. The trick is finding it."
  • R
  • 2001
  • 1 hr 51 min
  • 7.7  (142,566)
  • 74

Billy Elliot is a heart-warming, coming-of-age film set in Northern England in 1984, directed by Stephen Daldry. The movie stars Jamie Bell as the titular character, a young boy who discovers his love for ballet in the midst of the Miners’ Strike. Julie Walters plays his dance teacher, Mrs. Wilkinson, while Jean Heywood portrays his grandmother, whom he lives with in a small town called Everington.

The story begins as Billy’s life is changed forever by his chance discovery of the ballet class that takes place in the same community center where he goes for his weekly boxing lessons. Billy is at first hesitant to join the class, which is filled with girls, but the bewitching sounds of Tchaikovsky’s “Swan Lake” draw him in. Despite the ridicule he faces from his father and older brother, who view ballet as a “poof” activity, Billy continues to attend the lessons, much to his teacher’s delight.

As time passes, Billy becomes more and more captivated by the art of dance. Mrs. Wilkinson recognizes his potential and encourages him to audition for the Royal Ballet School in London, but the journey there is fraught with obstacles. Billy’s father and brother refuse to support him, and his grandmother is initially wary of the idea. The situation is further complicated by the ongoing Miners’ Strike, which contributes to a general atmosphere of upheaval and economic hardship in the town.

Against this backdrop, Billy navigates the ups and downs of adolescence, struggling to come to terms with his sexuality and trying to forge a path of his own in a world that seems determined to hold him back. Through it all, he finds solace in his dancing, which allows him to express himself in ways he never could before.

The film is anchored by the exceptional performances of its cast, particularly Bell, whose earnest portrayal of Billy is both endearing and heartbreaking. Walters is equally compelling as the tough but compassionate Mrs. Wilkinson, while Heywood brings an understated wisdom to the role of Billy’s grandmother. Together, they create a trio of characters whose relationships with one another are richly textured and beautifully nuanced.

The movie also benefits from its stunning cinematography, which captures the gritty realism of the coal-mining town while also infusing it with moments of breathtaking beauty. The dance sequences, in particular, are a testament to the power of movement and music to convey emotion and tell a story.

Ultimately, the heart of the film lies in its message about the importance of following one’s dreams, no matter how unconventional they may seem. Billy Elliot is a movie that celebrates the human capacity for self-discovery and the resilience of the human spirit in the face of adversity. It is a film that is both uplifting and poignant, a true gem in the crown of British cinema.

Billy Elliot is a 2001 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 51 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.7 and a MetaScore of 74.

Billy Elliot
Where to Watch Billy Elliot
Billy Elliot is available to watch, stream, download and buy on demand at Amazon Prime, Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play, YouTube VOD and Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent Billy Elliot for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 51 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.7  (142,566)
  • Metascore