Half Nelson

I try to go to the movies often because it’s something that I love. Friday I went to see Half Nelson at the Angelika. Yeah, the one where you can hear and feel the subway at work under your feet. Always the highlight of the evening.

Half Nelson is the story of Daniel Dunn a school teacher with a dangerous drug addiction who is one evening discovered by Drey, a student, in the school bathroom getting high. From this secret an unlikely bond and friendship form. The film was directed by Ryan Fleck and Anna Boden. It follows the friendship as it progresses and the decisions that both make while also trying to help each other.  The film could have gone in a few different directions but instead it chose to keep it simple. It leaves the audience in many ways to figure out the details of Dan’s life and why he has chose the path. You only get a pick into his life when you meet his family but after seeing their interaction you have a better understanding of who Dan is. The same can be said of Drey whose mother is an EMT who works more then she is home as having brother in jail.

I like that there was realness about the film that I could sort of relate to and it didn’t try play the black/white card too much by validating one character’s problems more then other. The film like I mentioned before leaves a  lot of open spots for the viewer to piece together but doesn’t make so that the viewer can’t. Ryan Gosling as usual in my book gives a great performance and just about blow any actor young or old out of the water. And I am not just saying this becasue I want to birth his children. Shareeka Epps, I feel doesn’t even act she seems like she’s being herself and the camera just happen to be shooting which is a good thing because it’s totally convincing. You sometimes forget that this is make believe because Ryan and Shareeka play so well off each other.

 The film doesn’t make you pity and of these characters because they have the will to make their own decisions but it show you how, this may sound cheesy because I totally stole this Chase, the right relationship is everything especially in the case of Dan and Drey who need each more than they know.

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1 Comment »

  1. Jamala said

    Here’s my review:

    Ryan Gosling still looks hot even when he’s on the pipe. Walking around in his manties, guiding his students, chilling in skeezy hotel rooms, confronting drug dealers, banging his co-workers – Gosling’s character just can’t lose. Why? Because Ryan Gosling is hot. Hotter than a crack pipe in the summer sun.

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