Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Half Nelson Movie Review

Ryan Gosling (The Notebook) stars in Half Nelson (2006) along with Shareeka Epps. Dan Dunne (Gosling) is a exceptional teacher; one of those you would remember all your life because of how they taught and inspired you. In his 20's and teaching 14 year olds in junior high school certainly has its challenges as he moves forward with his lessons on change and free thinking; even while getting the stink eye from other teachers.

Outside school he lives a drab and lonely life full of remorse wishing he could just escape. He achieves his escape by using cocaine and other drugs. The weekends and evenings are a blur as he sits in his apartment with his only companion; a cat. The cat seems to be all he has to live for.

It may be to much for him to handle, but he coaches girls basketball. Drey (Epps) is on the team and also in his class. One evening after a game and everyone is gone Dan slips into one of the locker room's stalls for a taste. Drey innocently comes into the locker room to find him drugged up.

Drey comes from a broken home with issues of her own. They form an unlikely friendship and they both try to better their lives sometime becoming to involved in the others. During this time we find out why they are the way they are. We follow them through many troubles and situations culminating to a scene that made my jaw drop.

Though this film is about drug use the director does a wonderful job on implying and letting us fill in the gaps; there are only a few scenes where we actually see him using. Ryan Gosling's acting is pure brilliance with heart stopping power and emotion rarely seen.

9 out of 10 - Rated R - This poignant film is so realistic and life like that it sends a loud and clear message about drug use.

Watch online nowor buy the DVD.