The musical from this movie has hit Broadway now with rave reviews. My kids wanted to see it very much, so I screened this movie to see if it's appropriate material. What a fabulous story! There are so many good messages - about believing in yourself, being willing to take risks, being willing to try things that you're not good at. Even the hard-nosed father is willing to ultimately shed his convictions in order to help his son achieve his dreams. There is also a subplot of accepting a friend who has a very different lifestyle than your own.
You must watch this with your kids, and be ready to explain labor unions, scabs, and strikes. You will need to discuss homophobia, especially the stereotypes surrounding it (i.e. in the movie the adult males all believe male ballet dancers are gay). You will also need to weigh in on your family's choice of language vs. the family in the movie. Lots of foul language in this film.
My son is a dancer, and also discovered his love of ballet very young. The movie is remarkably true in its depiction of a kid who just has to jump and move, and who tries to pick out melodies at the piano. My son was exactly like this. The screenplay must be based on some firsthand knowledge.
Lucky is the person who discovers what he loves at a young age, and is willing to persevere and pursue it. Even luckier if he gets extraordinary opportunities like Billy does. Very inspiring story.
Note: you really must use the subtitles option with this one to understand the thick accents.