Director: Stephen Daldry
Writer: Lee Hall
Starring: Jamie Bell, Julie Walters, Gary Lewis, Jamie Draven, Jean Heywood, Stuart Wells, Nicola Blackwell
I never caught “Billy Elliot” when it was making waves in the box office. It seemed like another one of those British feel goods in the same vein as “The Full Monty” or “Waking Ned Devine”, and although I figured it was worth the watch, the impetus to see it just wasn’t that strong, even with it’s Oscar recognition.
Upon finally viewing it, I am struck by the raw nature of it. First, I watched it in HD and it seemed like an early digital film from the look of the picture. I tried to find information on the filming format, but had no luck. The look is something akin to an after school special, but it works in the film’s favor. It feels grittier than the more polished look of most feature films. This helps make the sentimental parts a little more palatable and enhances the sub plot of the miner’s strike as a struggle of the everyman. Connecting that story more strongly with the main story line about a boy who discovers that he’s more drawn to the ballet than to boxing, helps solidify the story’s themes.