Alphabet Review: (H)alf Nelson

Prepare to see Ryan Gosling like you’ve never seen him before.

In ‘Half Nelson’ Gosling gives a groundbreaking performance and proves why he is one of the best working actors today. Taking on the story of a drug addicted teacher, Gosling’s portrayal of Dan Dunne is one of complexity, subtly and grit.

Directed by Ryan Fleck, ‘Half Nelson’ is the triumphant tale of a junior high school history teacher who forms a friendship with a student after she catches him doing drugs. The student in question is portrayed wonderfully by Shareeka Epps, a young actress with a great career ahead of her who exudes maturity on screen that is well beyond her years.

Both Gosling and Epps do an amazing job of humanizing their characters,  so much to the point where you feel like your not even watching a film anymore. Anthony Mackie also stars in the film and per usual gives a standout performance.

But the actors aren’t the only stars of ‘Half Nelson’—Ryan Fleck and Anna Boden are the amazing screenwriters who are responsible for the characters that appear on-screen. Without their talent and their words, ‘Half Nelson’ wouldn’t exist, and honestly it’s one the most well written films I’ve ever had the pleasure of watching. It’s subtly allows the audience to think, feel and relate to each character, and the ending will leave you hopeful yet wanting more.

Highly recommended.


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