Greg Brenman

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The Boys Are Back Review


Good
Since it's based on true events (from the life of journalist Simon Carr), this story is rather un-cinematic, lacking a driving narrative. But it's a telling exploration of relationships, relying on a superb cast to keep us engaged.

Sports writer Joe (Owen) is left in a daze when his wife Katy (Fraser) dies suddenly, leaving him to care for 6-year-old Artie (McAnulty). Since he has spent much of Artie's life travelling with his job, they have a lot of bonding to do, so they head out on a road trip. Then Joe's 14-year-old son Harry (MacKay) arrives from England to get to know his dad. With their unconventional family arrangement, these three cause a bit of concern with Joe's in-laws (Blake and Haywood) and a neighbour (Booth).

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Billy Elliot Review


Excellent
"Just because I like ballet, it doesn't mean I'm a poof," says 11-year-old British mamma's boy Billy Elliot (Jamie Bell). And that just about sums up the story of this oddball child prodigy. After all, when a lad from a northern British mining town forsakes his granddad's boxing gloves for a pair of satiny ballet slippers, it's more than the neighbors and townsfolk can comprehend and, therefore, inherently good cinematic drama.

Beyond the fact that the whole coal-miner's-kid-has-talent-and-big-dreams genre has been horrifically overdone from the earliest days of English-language narrative, Billy Elliot (aka Dancer) is actually a treat to watch. Maybe it's just the funny accents, but the dialog comes off fresh and surprising, even when it's just Billy's dad (played by Gary Lewis) saying some stock like, "No son of mine is going to be dancing ballet." In fact, Lewis conveys an intense fury through his role as the apparently ignorant father, while maintaining a sense of depth and dimension that is, at times, endearing.

Continue reading: Billy Elliot Review

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Greg Brenman Movies

Billy Elliot Movie Review

Billy Elliot Movie Review

"Just because I like ballet, it doesn't mean I'm a poof," says 11-year-old British mamma's...

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