“Today is a day of big decisions,” Billy keeps claiming. Except it isn't. The 19-year-old fantasist (Tom Courtenay, perfectly cast) is incapable of making big decisions.
He never seizes the day. Many of the beautifully constructed scenes – mainly the fantasy ones – are played for comedy but this is too poignant to be truly funny. Made in 1963, Billy Liar captures Britain on the cusp of a cultural explosion, and Julie Christie's savvy, free-spirited Liz captures that spirit of revolution. However, the ending is still hard to take.