[[caption-width-right:230: Can leap tall commendations in a single bound!]]
''Billy Elliot'' is the story of an eleven-year-old boy who escapes the harshness of his existence by discovering his passion for Ballet. Inspired by A. J. Cronin's novel ''The Stars Look Down'', this 2000 film spawned a highly successful West End musical, a collaboration between the film's original screenwriter Lee Hall and EltonJohn. ''Billy Elliot'' is both a gritty historical drama and a heart-warming feelgood movie.
The movie is set during the UK Miners Strike of 1984. Surrounded by the harsh realities of his family's poverty, Billy's only escape is the love of music he inherited from his late mother. His father pushes Billy into manly pursuits, forcing him to take up boxing at the local gym. At the same gym is a Ballet class that attracts Billy. He secretly switches from boxing to ballet.
Described by some as "a ComingOutStory without the gay", this film has spawned its own trope: The BillyElliotPlot, where young boys in a coming-of-age story learn an important lesson -- BeYourself. Even if it does involve leotards.
!!Film and musical are the TropeNamer of:
!!This film provides examples of:
* AllLoveIsUnrequited: Billy seems to be feeling an attraction to Debbie in the pillow fight scene, but he does not reciprocate her later interest in him. Billy also can't return Michael's love for him.
* AlwaysCamp: Averted. Despite his love of dance Billy is not gay or even camp. His best friend Michael on the other hand...
* AmbiguouslyGay: Then again, there are people who think the movie can be convincingly read both as a subtle tale of a Billy coming to terms with his sexuality. [[spoiler: After all, he is clearly uncomfortable when Debbie tries to touch him, but he kisses Michael on the cheek before he leaves.]] The ending of the movie is perhaps deliberately left open to allow viewers to decide for themselves. (There's possibly a bit of FridgeBrilliance in the fact that the ballet we see grown-up Billy in at the end is Matthew Bourne's gay interpretation of ''SwanLake''.)
* AngryDance: To the Jam's 'A Town Called Malice'.
* BigDamnKiss: At one point Michael kisses Billy on the cheek; this is Michael's coming out to Billy and declaring his love for him, a love which Billy cannot return. Right before Billy [[spoiler: leaves to go to ballet school, he says goodbye to Michael and kisses him on the cheek. Then "See you, then", and he runs off, leaving Michael looking after him.]]
* BlackSheep: Billy.
* BoxingLesson: Kinda.
* CampGay: Billy's best friend Michael.
* CampStraight: Billy, arguably. He's not camp at all but he's into ballet, in which a very disproportionately high number of gay men are involved.
* DistantFinale: In the final sequence, Billy's father and brother make the journey down to London (they are seen riding the then-new extension of the Jubilee Line, putting these scenes at least fifteen years after the rest of the film) to see Billy dance in a production of ''Swan Lake''.
* DysfunctionalFamily: But they pull it together.
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: Both Billy's father and brother.
* LamarckWasRight: Not in a mega superhero way, but still. Billy's paternal grandfather was apparently a really good boxer, which is why Billy's dad wants him to take it up. But Billy's maternal grandmother was also a fantastic ballet dancer when she was a young girl.
* AMinorKidroduction: Inverted. The story takes place in his childhood, but shows a brief moment of Billy's adult life.
* MissingMom: BillyElliot suffers from dead mother syndrome.
* MistakenForGay: Billy probably isn't gay, but his love of ballet makes his dad fear he is.
* OopNorth: It may as well be the name of Billy's hometown. But for [[ViolentGlaswegian some reason]] his father's Glaswegian. Which actually in a way makes it more believable.
* SensitiveGuyAndManlyMan: Billy and Michael, kind of. Billy is sensitive and into ballet, but the film takes pains to show him as quite conventionally masculine in some ways [[spoiler: (punching that boy at the auditions, for example).]] Michael, on the other hand, is CampGay and a WholesomeCrossdresser.
* TrainStationGoodbye: A Bus Station variant with family rather than lovers.
* UnconfessedUnemployment: Inverted. The Father can't tell his son [[spoiler: he's going back to work as a scab to earn the money Billy needs to audition for ballet school.]]
* VehicleVanish: Debbie manages to pull one off.
* WellDoneSonGuy: Billy doesn't want his father to be disappointed in him, which is why he hides the fact he's doing Ballet.
* WholesomeCrossdresser: Michael.
!!The musical adaptation provides examples of:
* AllMusicalsAreAdaptations: Well this one sure is.
* CounterpointDuet / DistantDuet: In "Solidarity," the ballet class scenes are intercut with scenes from the strike, with girls in tutus dancing in between cops swinging billy cubs and nightsticks. [[TropesAreNotBad It works well.]] They use different musical melodies.
* DisneyAcidSequence: In "Expressing Yourself", the song ends with a tapdancing sequence featuring giant moving dresses.
* DreamBallet: After Michael leaves in the Christmas scene, [[MyFutureSelfAndMe Billy dances with his future self]], to the Pas de Deux from ''Theatre/SwanLake'', before his older self fades away to reveal he is still in the miners' welfare.
* HailToTheThief: "Merry Christmas, Maggie Thatcher".
* PopStarComposer: EltonJohn wrote the music for the musical numbers, with the movie's screenwriter Lee Hall providing lyrics.
* ScreenToStageAdaptation: Which is odd because while it is a film about dance ''Billy Elliot'' is not a musical.
* ThatMakesMeFeelAngry: Did a rousing, march-y CrowdSong by striking Northern miners, called "Solidarity", really need the repeated line "We're proud to be working class!"
* TookALevelInBadass: Grandma! From delusional sweet old lady to delusional sweet HILARIOUS old lady. Plus she runs down a hall with a knife. Sure, it was to open a letter, but still.