ray’s review published on Letterboxd:
what a great movie.
i absolutely loved billy elliot, and not just because of the ballet. at first, you think this is just gonna be a story about a boy feeling misplaced in a female dominated space. and yet, it's not like that at all.
this movie manages to show how children have no set stigmas before aging up. it shows how being gay isn't tied to appreciating feminine things and it does so, not by rejecting the idea of being gay or feminine, but by humanizing it, showing it in a positive light.
billy elliot also manages to represent class struggle, which is something i didn't expect at all from a movie like this! it does so subtly, it shows you how billy, being a child, doesn't have an understanding of that either. and yet you see an entire class of men fighting for their rights, eventually coming together to support billy's family too. billy's father and brother, so busy with strikes, find comfort in billy's dream, knowing theirs is so much simpler and yet so much harder to achieve...
the figure of his dance teacher manages to portray at the same time the similarities between the lower and middle class and its distance. her relationship with billy is one of the most beautiful teacher-student portrayals, how she simply changes his life by being accepting.
it's a truly heartwarming movie. i love how all of the relationships are portrayed, how ALL of them play a part in the race towards billy's dream. i especially loved the development of his relationship with his father, which had been so worn out by their grief.
at last, i believe this movie hit all the nails on the head perfectly. i couldn't even imagine managing to fit so many subtle details into 1 hour and 50 minutes. definitely a classic and i plan to rewatch it many times.