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On the advice of a fellow film connoisseur, I was urged to watch “Billy Elliot”. My friend assured me that I would like it and admittedly, I had my reservations, but went ahead anyway. Two hours later, I couldn’t help myself and I just had to review this film and recommend it to everyone.

Billy Elliot
Billy Elliot is a British boy who wants to be a ballet dancer, but his father would much rather see him take boxing lessons instead. Set in a small coal mining town, Billy (Jamie Bell) attends boxing lessons everyday until he sees ballet lessons being taught at other end of the building where boxing lessons take place. Before long, Billy shyly joins the lessons without his father or brother’s knowledge. From this point on, Billy becomes aware of his talent and then nurtures it until his father discovers his desire for dancing and not boxing.

There are several subplots within this film including a coal miner’s strike and the realization that Billy’s friend is gay, however, these plots simply add to the overall dramatic elements of the film.

In addition, Julie Walters, who plays Billy’s ballet instructor, is an inspiration as Billy’s mentor and teacher. Walters has showcased her acting talent here.

With jazzy dance scenes, this film is a welcome achievement to the dreck that we have seen come out of Hollywood in recent years. Please don’t turn your nose up at this film because the story line about ballet as that is not all this film has to offer and you will be selling yourself short.

Billy Elliot is presented with beautiful 1.85:1 anamorphic transfer. The colors appear a bit faded, however, I believe that it is a filmmaking technique to give the film it's mood. Aside from that, the blacks and shadows are solid and actually give a great highlight to the otherwise, dull colors. I hardly noticed any blemishes if I noticed them at all. Overall, Universal has done a fine job on this transfer, which can only suggest that the print that was used was also flawless. Great job!

Billy Elliot
Universal presents Billy Elliot in Dolby Digital 5.1, which sounds great! Dialogue comes out clear and the toe tappin' dance scenes are brought to vivid life as Billy leaps and dances. The soundtrack is stellar as well and just as in the classic musicals, the sound will fill your room. I wasn’t expecting such a rousing audio track, but this DVD edition does it justice and certainly brings to life the film.

For such an outstanding film, I was really hoping that Universal would knock our socks off with some extra features, sorry to disappoint, there are very few with regard to extra features.

First off, there is a sluggish featurette titled “Billy Elliot: Breaking Free”. This featurette seems a bit pointless, promotional and doesn’t really give a lot of information. To say that it simply summarizes the plot of the film would be an understatement. This featurette was featureless, and just seemed to be a waste of time. I was not impressed.

Next, is the theatrical trailer for the film, which seems to be standard these days on most DVD’s. Other extras include Cast and Filmmaker filmographies and Production Notes.

Billy Elliot
Billy Elliot is a glorious film with a message. Sadly, and I am included on this one, the majority of theatergoers skipped it because of the ballet theme. Which I assure you is not the only focus of the film. An uplifting and inspirational film, Billy Elliot teaches us all to follow our dreams, stick to your convictions and in the end, something positive has to result! Please, take the time to check out this film, I assure you, it won’t disappoint.