The Valpo Core Reader

Document Type

Film Review Essay

Publication Date



The film Billy Elliot, directed by Stephen Daldry, is a passionate and dynamic masterpiece that exposes not only the societal plight of its young main character, Billy Elliot, as the title suggests, but also the austere political struggles of his father and older brother. Daldry indeed emphasizes Billy’s vocational transformation from a gawky boy toying with the curiosity of ballet into a prima performer for a dance company as an adult. However, the triumph of Billy’s fervent desire is frequently offset by Daldry’s truthful presentation of North England’s miner work force and its degrading effect on the labor exerted by Billy’s family, in particular. Upon the conclusion of the film, one could rationally argue that Daldry’s underlying goal in Billy Elliot was to explore the complex juxtaposition between dreamers and realists within a small, distressed community.


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