Billy Elliot

I just watched Billy Elliot and it has to be one of my new favourite films. This isn’t a review, at all, so hopefully contains no spoilers, but you should definitely see it. It’s beautifully shot and acted and I developed a slightly embarassing minor crush on Billy, the setting is wonderful, the soundtrack is excellent, nothing’s overdone or obviously just there to make you howl like an abandoned dog for goodness’ sake Jenny shut up, the whole thing is, as a film, really good. 

Although that said for reasons I don’t fully understand I’ve been sobbing like a small child since about half way through, I’m in a right old state, it’s pathetic really. Especially given that I pretty much never cry, as many of you could attest. I suppose it was the combination of the whole coming-of-age thing, the dead mother angle, the father-at-first-is-entirely-unsupportive-and-then-realises-how-good-his-son-is-at-dancing-and-will-do-anything-to-support-him thing, the best friend (that whole angle really really got at me. I was just a bit weepy before it did and then I was absolutely howling), the sweet daughter of the ballet teacher… and, I guess, me coming down from a stressful few weeks.

Bad times indeed. I mean the last time I cried, with the exception of yesterday, was…oh, I don’t even know when. Months ago. I guess sometimes you just have to and anything can set you off, even a mildly tear-jerking film. If I’d been watching Dr Zhivago instead then no doubt I would have killed myself!

It would seem that many of my favourite films and things fall broadly into one of two categories – the Grim North (Billy Elliot, Full Monty, and that one set in the Scottish village, for some reason I always forget the name but it has a brilliant Dire Straits soundtrack and features Big Hands and Marina and the guy who is the accounant, hotelier and Everything Else, and the Russians, and stuff…Local Hero, that’s it, I mean, sure it’s Scotland not the North as such but you know what I mean, similar themes); and films set in Africa/India and featuring themes of corruption, love, war, and other Big Topics (in which category we find The English Patient, The Last King Of Scotland, Constant Gardener, and Slumdog Millionaire). 

I think it’s high time I went to bed, somehow. It’s been a long few weeks, exams are over, and I just need to wind down.

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12 Comments

Filed under Film, Happenings, Life, Thoughts, University

12 responses to “Billy Elliot

  1. ruethewhirl

    try watching Charlie Wilson’s War. it’s Big Topic, but it’s also fucken hilarious. I normally don’t have much time for Tom Hanks, but he’s fantastic in it, and Phillip Seymour Hoffman is, as the facebook group says, a G. so go forth and watch it. xx

  2. Lucy

    Love Billy Elliot 🙂

    I finished my last exam day (all 6hrs 30mins of it) and instead of jubilantly celebrating that I’d managed to take exams at all and was now free, I ended up sobbing in J’s arms and begging him to come with me to Wetherspoons so I didn’t have to go home. Anti-climax and all that. Hope you have woken up feeling better!

  3. standingonthebrink

    Wow, well done for getting through them all. you had a six and a half hour exam? Madness. Sheer madness. Did you end up going to Wetherspoons with J? Hope you had a good time 🙂

    And yes, feel much better now and going to go for drinks at a friend’s flat tonight if I can’t get hold of R at all which I’d really like to.

    xxx

  4. Lucy

    Six and a half hours = two three-hour exams, on top of which I am entitled to stretching break of five minutes per hour (and hence placed in the ‘Physical Needs Special Room’ :D). And I do tend to take my breaks ‘cos, well, I need to.

    We did indeed go to Wetherspoons. That was just over a couple of weeks ago, and I can’t decide whether it feels like yesterday or last year. Possibly the latter!

    Hope R was in!

  5. Not a fan of Billy Elliot. It’s a bit too, uhm, shit? :p

    Perhaps unsurprisingly, liked Local Hero. Soundtrack is stunning – and apparently outsold the VHS release of the film. Heard Knopfler play the theme live, and it really sends shivers down your spine.

    “films set in Africa/India and featuring themes of corruption, love, war, and other Big Topics ”
    Seen Blood Diamond? Also, Zulu :p

  6. standingonthebrink

    I haven’t seen either of those but they’re on my mental want-to-watch list, thanks 🙂

    It’s NOT shit, it’s lovely. You’ve just got a heart of stone. You also didn’t like Mamma Mia which about says it all, really =P

    And yes – I love the soundtrack to Local Hero and am, in fact, listening to Dire Straits as we speak.

    Meanwhile that sounds like a cruel, cruel day – and I know what you mean. I already can’t believe my last exam was only the day before yesterday! R wasn’t in, but instead I went to the pub with A and had a grand old time catching up before he flies back to Ireland today for the summer. And I’m going to go and spend a few days with R from Monday – she lives just up the road from me but since she has her house for the whole summer I’m leaving some boxes there with her to help with the move, and meanwhile we need to spend lots and lots of quality R and J time together, becuase so far we’ve not seen each other all term. Call ourselves best friends!

    xxx
    xxx

  7. Rosie

    If it helps, even my father has been known to cry at Billy Elliot (it’s the scene with the acceptance letter; apparently it reminds him of being told he’d won the TU scholarship he was sent to uni on). And if you cried at the film, you must someday, somehow see the musical. It is BRILLIANT, for nobody could possibly dislike a musical featuring a giant marionette of Margaret Thatcher!

    Rosie

  8. standingonthebrink

    It sounds excellent. Do I get to set fire to the marionette afterwards 😛 ?! I’ll try and see it some day – might try and convince my housemate K to come with, she loves it.

    I bet my father would cry. My mother wouldn’t, though – she’s like me, but more so…

  9. Lucy

    Love Mamma Mia as I do (for pure cheesiness purposes), I resent Billy Elliot being placed in quite the same category by implication!

  10. Lucy

    Also, Dickie, currently listening to that Knopfler theme tune on YouTube. Gorgeous.

  11. standingonthebrink

    I certainly didn’t mean to accidentally class them together! But you do have to be a non-heart-of-stone kind of person to like either film, but then that surely includes most of us? Dickie’s just an anomaly… =P

  12. “Love Mamma Mia as I do (for pure cheesiness purposes), I resent Billy Elliot being placed in quite the same category by implication!”

    Billy Elliot is watchable, but just not really my sorta film. I was mainly doing my usual and overstating things slightly with my previous comment.

    Mamma bloody Mia, on the other hand….

    “Also, Dickie, currently listening to that Knopfler theme tune on YouTube. Gorgeous.”
    Yep. Search out an album called “screenplaying”. It’s got some more songs from sountracks he’s done, and they’re all pretty special . Words really cannot express my love and admiration for Mr Knopfler’s talents, as I’m sure I’ve said before…

    “Dickie’s just an anomaly”
    And proud of it :p

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