Billy Elliot (2000) - Synopsis

Billy Elliot (2000)

"The secret to dancing is that it is about everything except dancing." - Martha Graham

BILLY ELLIOT is the coming-of-age story of a young boy, Billy, who through his unexpected love of dance, embarks on a journey of self-discovery in the world of picket lines, cultural stereotypes, a family in crisis and a headstrong ballet teacher.

When eleven-year-old Billy (Jamie Bell) stumbles across a local ballet class that comes to share the village hall with his boxing club, something in the magic of the movements captures his imagination, and he's soon ditching his boxing gloves to sneak in at the back of Mrs. Wilkinson's (Julie Walters) lessons. With a sharp eye for talent, Mrs. Wilkinson's zest for teaching is revived when she sees Billy's potential. Rather forgetting the other ballerinas, she's drawn into teaching her raw new protégé

Meanwhile, Billy's father (Gary Lewis) and older brother Tony (Jamie Draven) both on strike - struggle to put food on the table. Their pent up frustrations finally explode when they discover Billy has been squandering his boxing money on less than manly pursuits. Banned from ballet, troubled by the escalating senile behaviour of his grandma (Jean Heywood), and missing his recently dead Mam more than ever, Billy's relationship, with school friend Michael (Stuart Wells) deepens into a touching friendship, while new pal Debbie, daughter of Mrs. Wilkinson, awakens frightening, but not unpleasant, feelings in Billy.

Mrs. Wilkinson eventually persuades Billy to accept private training, for free, telling him she wants him to audition for the Ballet School. The emotions released in their intensive routines nearly break the both of them, but when the day of the audition comes, Billy is tragically forced to miss it as a result of Tony's scuffle with the police. Taking matters into her own hands, Mrs. Wilkinson calls on Billy's father to explain the extraordinary chance his son is missing, but is thrown out by an irate Tony, much to Billy's humiliation.

Distraught by his family's lack of understanding, Billy unleashes his feelings in a dance meant only for Michael to see, but is caught mid-routine by his father. Rooted to the spot by the power and animation of his son's talent, he solemnly agrees to ensure Billy gets another chance by auditioning in London. With support from the other miners, Billy and his Dad finally make it to London for the gruelling audition, returning home to anxiously await the ballet school's decision.

Fifteen years later, Dad, Tony and Michael watch with pride as the curtain rises on Billy's premiere leading role in London's West End.

Working Title Films and BBC Films in association with the Arts Council of England present A Tiger Aspect Pictures production in association with WT2,

BILLY ELLIOT, starring Julie Walters, Gary Lewis, Jamie Bell and Jamie Draven. The film is directed by Stephen Daldry, produced by Greg Brenman and Jon Finn and written by Lee Hall. Executive producers are Natascha Wharton, Charles Brand, Tessa Ross and David M. Thompson. Universal Pictures will release the film worldwide.