Half Nelson

BBB

(out of 5)


Ryan Fleck expands his short film Gowanus, Brooklyn to feature-length in this absorbing drama.  is excellent as a junior high school teacher whose aimless drug addiction catches up with him when a student () with problems of her own see him doping himself up in a school change room.  The two begin to spend more time together, and their being forced to see their own lives from another perspective has an affect on the choices they make in dealing with their own issues.  Fleck’s Von Trier-esque camera work is terrific, as are the performances (however good Gosling is, Epps matches and outdoes him), but it’s a bit obvious that the short film’s emotional arc hasn’t been expanded for the feature and the film runs longer than the viewer is prepared for.   has a wonderful supporting role as Gosling’s former hippie mother, and the dialogue is top notch.


, , , , ,

USA, 2006

Directed by

Screenplay by Ryan Fleck,

Cinematography by

Produced by Anna Boden, , ,

Music by

Production Design by

Costume Design by

Film Editing by Anna Boden

Film Festivals:  Sundance 2006


Cast Tags:  


Academy Award Nomination
Best Actor in a Leading Role (Ryan Gosling as “Dan Dunne”)

New York Film Critics Award
Best First Film

Nominations
Best Actor (Ryan Gosling)
Best Supporting Actress (Shareeka Epps)

National Society of Film Critics Award Nominations
Best Actor (Ryan Gosling)
Best Supporting Actress (Shareeka Epps)

National Board Of Review Awards
Best Breakthrough Performance-Male (Ryan Gosling)
Top Ten Independent Films

Screen Actors Guild Award Nomination
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role (Ryan Gosling)

Independent Spirit Awards
Best Female Lead (Shareeka Epps)
Best Male Lead (Ryan Gosling)

Nominations
Best Feature
Best Director (Ryan Fleck)
Best First Screenplay
Producers Award

Toronto Film Critics Award Nomination
Best Performance, Male (Ryan Gosling)

Boston Film Critics Awards
Best Supporting Actress (Shareeka Epps)
Best New Filmmaker

Nomination
Best Actor (Ryan Gosling)

Chicago Film Critics Award Nominations
Best Actor (Ryan Gosling)
Most Promising Performer (Shareeka Epps)


HalfNelson

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One Comment Add yours

  1. Argh, and don’t forget the amazing Broken Social Scene soundtrack! That movie broke my heart so badly I would never watch it again.

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