Billy Elliot ★★★ Dancer 2000 (R)
Eleven-year-old Billy (Bell) is trying to survive in a Durham County town during the 1984 miners' strike that is affecting his family. His widowed dad (Lewis) wants Billy to take boxing lessons but the boy is more interested in the ballet class taught at the same gym by hard-living Mrs. Wilkinson (Walters), whose daughter Debbie (Blackwell) taunts Billy into trying to dance. Billy's natural talent is so great that Mrs. Wilkinson encourages him to audition for the Royal Ballet School in London. Of course, when his dad finds out what's been going on, there's trouble. The unfortunate rating is due to language but the film has all-around appeal and some fine performances. Stage director Daldry makes his film debut as does Bell. 111m/C VHS, DVD . GB Jamie Bell, Julie Walters, Gary Lewis, Jamie Driven, Nicola Blackwell, Jean Heywood, Stuart Wells, Adam Cooper; D: Stephen Daldry; W: Lee Hall; C: Brian Tufano; M: Stephen Warbeck. British Acad. '00: Actor (Bell), Film, Support. Actress (Walters).