Persuaded to take boxing lessons by his coal-miner father (Lewis), 11-year-old English lad Billy Elliot (Bell) surprises himself and everyone else when he demonstrates a natural aptitude for ballet. Over the objections of Dad and his macho brother Tony (Draven), Billy follows his passion, eventually auditioning for a spot at London's Royal Ballet School.
Anchored by Bell's soulful lead performance, "Billy Elliot" is an intelligent, often humorous coming-of-age drama by veteran stage director Daldry about masculine prejudice and the promise of escape from grinding, oppressive circumstances. Set against the backdrop of the 1984 miners' strike in Durham County, "Elliot" has an acute eye for working-class sensibilities. Nevertheless, the main focus of this exhilarating story concerns Billy's efforts to translate raw talent into self-realization. An irresistible mix of fancy footwork and feel-good entertainment.