7.2/10
74,743
190 user 210 critic

Half Nelson (2006)

An inner-city junior high school teacher with a drug habit forms an unlikely friendship with one of his students after she discovers his secret.

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4,798 ( 168)

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 29 wins & 47 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Tyra Kwao-Vovo ...
Rosemary Ledee ...
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Jamal (as Tristan Wilds)
Bryce Silver ...
Kaela C. Pabon ...
Erica Rivera ...
Erika (as Erika Rivera)
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Karen Chilton ...
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Storyline

Young Caucasian Dan Dunne teaches history and coaches the girls basketball team at a Brooklyn high school populated primarily by black and Hispanic students. To the chagrin of his superiors, Dan bucks the outlined curriculum of historical facts in favor of the philosophy of historical events, generally discussing the concept of dialectics. As such, he captures the imagination of his students, at least in the classroom. Outside of the classroom, Dan's life is in shambles. He has a distant but cordial relationship with his family. He uses illicit drugs rampantly. Although his former girlfriend Rachel was able to clean up her drug habit, Dan believes that rehab will not work for him. Due to a combination of these issues, he treats women poorly. Thirteen year old Drey is a student in his class and a player on his basketball team. Drey has her own problems. Her parents are divorced, with her father a virtually non-existent figure in her life and her EMT mother generally absent as she is ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Secrets don't let go.

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for drug content throughout, language and some sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Release Date:

22 September 2006 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Fél Nelson  »

Box Office

Budget:

$700,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$53,983 (USA) (11 August 2006)

Gross:

$2,694,973 (USA) (8 December 2006)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When on the subject, Ryan Gosling's character says "It's just not cool to be a Nazi anymore, baby." Gosling played a Neo-Nazi in 'The Believer'. See more »

Quotes

Dan: Who might say that Aristotle's wrong, right? But that doesn't make any sense; these things need each other. The idea that... that all God's creations are perfect, perfect - so just to suggest that - that a tree it's - it's crooked and it's straight... it's strong and it's weak... is to suggest that - that God created something imperfect. They do however acknowledge it in people; we are sinners but we can strive to be good just not in nature itself I guess.
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Connections

Version of Gowanus, Brooklyn (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

Lover's Spit (Instrumental Mix)
Written and Performed by Broken Social Scene
Published by Arts & Crafts Music
Licensed Courtesy of Arts & Crafts Records
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User Reviews

 
Awaking To Ryan Gosling
2 January 2008 | by (New Zealand) – See all my reviews

Ryan Gosling made happen what happens only once every so often. Made me look at what I seen before under a new magnifying light. He took me with him and showed me, with the most astonishing clarity, the complexity of a talented man dragged down by a legacy of good intentions and addiction. We're permitted to visit his family once and we understand what he's fighting with without any weapons. He doesn't blame anyone but he's the result of his own DNA and he knows it. His bright moments, the explanation of what History is for instance, is a glimpse into the man he could actually be, fully. The humanity that Ryan Gosling lends to his character on his darker moments it's as chillingly real as it is moving. The chemistry he establishes with the wonderful Shareeka Epps is as powerful as the one he established with me. I want to meet him, I want to meet Dan and while I was thinking that I realize I know him already. He lives next door to me, he's related to me, I was his friend. This is what superb performances do. They re-awake you.


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