3-3.5 Highlights a different angle of the Swan Lake model from what I've seen in different ballet-themed films. Otherwise, this film is appreciable for all the conflict it's able to mine (no pun intended) from its setting, its characters, their personal and economic circumstances, etc. And just evocative enough beyond the sum of its parts to be more than a basically functional film. In essence, I rather liked it.
Oi, Daldry packs this one up with tons of social backdrop on 80's British industrial clashes, the coal miners strike, homophobia, manhood, identity and more however the patina of over-sentimentality is far too rich to digest it all like a serious commentary or without feeling like being force-fed meringue for breakfast. Now piss off!
A real rites-of-passage film for me. Saw this in the cinema several times in my teens. Jamie Bell's debut remains as startling as it was on its release. The Geordie milieu, the miners' protests and the sparring between Bell and Walters are authentic and convincing. Daldry's theatrical grandstanding has its mawkish moments, but the lo-fi choreography and social realism keep this well above the mediocre.
Of course it's not the best movie I have ever seen, but I think that it's so much better than many other commercial & coming-of-age films... Plus, I think that the actors were pretty good in their characters, the relationship between Billy and his dad (and the world) is very well portrayed.
Brilliant cinematography captured powerful performances by Jamie Bell, Julie Walters, Gary Lewis and the unadorned loveliness of north-eastern England with the help of a nice soundtrack. While inducing heartfelt laughters, it is a film about passion which offers just an enough amount of sexuality (as well as homosexuality) through the theme of dance and growing up...which just isn't enough for a film about passion.
"Don't know. Sorta feels good. Sorta stiff and that, but once I get going... then I like, forget everything. And... sorta disappear. Sorta disappear. Like I feel a change in my whole body. And I've got this fire in my body. I'm just there. Flyin' like a bird. Like electricity. Yeah, like electricity." <3