County Durham, during the endless, violent 1984 strike against the Thatcher closure of British coal mines. Widower Jackie Elliot and his firstborn, fellow miner Tony, take a dim view of 11 year-old second son Billy's poor record in boxing class, which worsens when they discover he sneakily transferred to the neighboring, otherwise girls-only-attended ballet class. Only one schoolmate, closet-gay Michael Caffrey, encourages Billy's desire, aroused by the teacher, who judged him talented enough for private lesson, to train and try out for the world-renowned Royal Ballet audition. Only the prospect of a fancy career unimagined in the pauper quarter may twist pa and big brother's opposition to indispensable support. Written by
Julie Walters had no previous experience with ballet before this film. Admittedly, while filming, she went through menopause and hereby struggled with the moves and hot sweats. She felt she reminded herself of the hippopotamus from Fantasia (1940). See more »
When Jackie is inside the bus leading to the mine, an egg hits his window (at around 1h 14 mins), but when the bus is viewed from outside, the window is clean (01:14:44). See more »
I had seen the commercials and they emphasize the dancing aspect of the story which is great but there is so much more to this movie. It deals with death and it touches on Mens feelings of loss and what a Man is and even deals a bit with homosexuality. Theres not many times where I sit though the end credits anymore but I was mesmorized. I laughed in this movie and I cried too. The dance scenes were terrific too. The boy who played Billy should get an award hands down for this movie. I watched the emotion on his face and it was amazing. This is the best breakout performance by a young boy since haley Joel Osmant in Sixth Sense. I have to say I just loved Julie Walters too. Where has she been since Educating Rita. Inspite of the swear words this is a movie that families should see. Its hard to believe this gets an R rating and movies like Scary Movie get...only R ratings. I dont get it. Strange that two of my favorite recent movies are from the British...This and Croupier. Word to Hollywood, make more movies like this or at lease import more like this. Dont miss this one!
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