IMDb > Half Nelson (2006)
Half Nelson
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Half Nelson (2006) More at IMDbPro »

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Half Nelson -- 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.
Half Nelson -- 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.

Overview

User Rating:
7.3/10   63,769 votes »
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Director:
Writers (WGA):
Ryan Fleck (written by) &
Anna Boden (written by)
Contact:
View company contact information for Half Nelson on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
11 August 2006 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
Secrets don't let go.
Plot:
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. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
Nominated for Oscar. Another 33 wins & 29 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
The 'dialectics' indie filmmakers Ryan Fleck and Anna Boden created in "Half Nelson" is realized by Ryan Gosling and Shareeka Epps' unarguably nuanced performances See more (187 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Ryan Gosling ... Dan Dunne

Jeff Lima ... Roodly

Shareeka Epps ... Drey

Nathan Corbett ... Terrance
Tyra Kwao-Vovo ... Stacy
Rosemary Ledee ... Gina

Tristan Wilds ... Jamal
Bryce Silver ... Bernard
Kaela C. Pabon ... Lena
Erica Rivera ... Erika (as Erika Rivera)

Stephanie Bast ... Vanessa
Eleanor Hutchins ... Simone

Sebastian Sozzi ... Javier

Tina Holmes ... Rachel
Karen Chilton ... Karen
Kitty ... Dave - The Cat
Starla Benford ... Principal Henderson

Anthony Mackie ... Frank

Denis O'Hare ... Jimbo

Monique Gabriela Curnen ... Isabel

Deidre Goodwin ... Tina

Collins Pennie ... Mike
Thaddeus Daniels ... Referee
Susan Kerner ... Motel Slow Dancer

Raymond Anthony Thomas ... Earle (as Ray Anthony Thomas)
Stanton Davis ... Trumpet Player (as Stanton Davis Jr.)

Ron C. Jones ... Mr. Dickson (as Ron Cephas Jones)
Christopher Williamson ... Charles
Leslie Eva Glaser ... Rose

Sharon Washington ... Suzanne

Deborah Rush ... Jo Dunne

Jay O. Sanders ... Russ Dunne (as Jay Sanders)

Nicole Vicius ... Cindy
David Easton ... Jeff Dunne

Adepero Oduye ... Crack Smoker

Katie Nehra ... Woman with Camera
Steve Kursh ... Man on Bed
Matt Kerr ... Mr. Light
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Harvey Milk ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)

Directed by
Ryan Fleck 
 
Writing credits
(WGA)
Ryan Fleck (written by) &
Anna Boden (written by)

Produced by
Anna Boden .... producer
Charlie Corwin .... executive producer
Doug Dey .... executive producer
Hunter Gray .... associate producer
Lynette Howell .... producer
Rosanne Korenberg .... producer
Scott London .... executive producer
Clara Markowicz .... executive producer
Paul Mezey .... executive producer
Alex Orlovsky .... producer
Jamie Patricof .... producer
Jeremy Kipp Walker .... co-producer
 
Original Music by
Broken Social Scene 
 
Cinematography by
Andrij Parekh 
 
Film Editing by
Anna Boden 
 
Casting by
Eyde Belasco 
 
Production Design by
Beth Mickle  (as Elizabeth Mickle)
 
Art Direction by
Inbal Weinberg 
 
Costume Design by
Erin Benach 
 
Makeup Department
Loretta Alston .... key hair stylist
Sabrina Alston .... additional hair stylist
Marilyn Cush .... additional hair stylist
David Kalahiki .... additional makeup artist
Xandra Mercedez .... additional makeup artist
Leo Won .... key makeup artist
 
Production Management
Ronny Merdinger .... production supervisor
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Nicholas R. Bell .... second assistant director
Amyjoy Clark .... second second assistant director
Mariela Comitini .... first assistant director
 
Art Department
Jeremy L. Balon .... property master
Heidi Barack .... artwork
Justin Bischoff .... art department intern
Jared Bumgarner .... art department intern
Tze Chun .... artwork
Dan Delorenzo .... art department intern
Joey DePaolo .... art intern
Nicholas Fabiano .... art department intern (as Nick Fabiano)
Corey Gegner .... art department intern
Julie Gollins .... propmaker
Alonso Homs .... art department intern
Dan-ah Kim .... on-set dresser
Ryan Minelli .... art department intern
Mark Pelter-Robson .... artwork
Luke Pendley .... art department intern
Mike Romano .... leadman
Jürgen Schadeberg .... artwork (as Jurgen Schadeberg)
Herb Snitzer .... artwork
Bernard Stollman .... artwork
Keren Aronoff .... art department intern (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
Leslie Bloom .... foley artist
David Crabb .... foley editor
Tom Efinger .... post-production supervising sound editor
Tom Efinger .... sound re-recording mixer
Judy Karp .... sound mixer
John Moros .... dialogue editor
Jaime Reyes .... boom operator
Paul Sacco .... stereo sound consultant: Dolby Stereo
Abigail Savage .... foley recordist
Nicholas Schenck .... assistant sound editor (as Nicholas J. Schenck)
Craig Spencer .... sound effects editor
 
Visual Effects by
Ricardo Guzman .... scanning and film recording
Bert Hilaire .... digital intermediate engineer
Jeff Huston .... scanning and film recording
Scot Olive .... digital intermediate colorist
Corey Stewart .... digital intermediate engineer
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Adam B. Bell .... still photographer (as Adam Bell)
Carter Bissell .... additional grip
Carter Bissell .... electrician
Molly Condit .... videographer
Katie Dainson .... camera loader
DeWitt Davis .... additional grip (as Dewitt Davis)
DeWitt Davis .... electrician (as Dewitt Davis)
Daniel Feighery .... assistant camera
John Frisbie .... best boy electric
Jared Graf .... additional assistant camera
Wesley Hodges .... second assistant camera
Chris Knable .... grip/electric intern
Mike 'Electric' Mervilde Jr. .... electrician (as Mike Mervilde Jr.)
Smokey Nelson .... gaffer
Michael Nostrand .... videographer
Aaron Randall .... best boy grip
Gabrielle Russomagno .... still photographer
Matthew Walker .... key grip (as Matt Walker)
Toshiro Yamaguchi .... first assistant camera
 
Casting Department
Tiffany Nottage .... casting assistant
Rita Powers .... extras casting
Sean Powers .... extras casting
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Molly Bauml .... wardrobe intern
Jennifer LeRoux .... wardrobe intern
Natalia Parsons .... costume design assistant
Andrea Roa .... wardrobe supervisor
 
Editorial Department
Chad Beck .... associate editor
George Bunce .... editor: IQ
Cindy Lee .... assistant editor
Scot Olive .... digital intermediate colorist
Matthew Reedy .... digital intermediate producer
Mike Trinker .... digital intermediate editor (uncredited)
 
Music Department
Doug Bernheim .... music supervisor
Rich Kleiman .... music consultant (as Richard Kleiman)
 
Other crew
Ronald Arceneaux .... additional set production assistant
E.J. Bradley III .... set production assistant (as E.J. Bradley)
Leonard Bullock .... parking production assistant
George Bunce .... 2K conform
Nissa Ren Cannon .... assistant: Silverwood Films (as Nissa Canon)
Victoria Carter .... office intern
Riddick Claudia .... parking production assistant
Mark De Pace .... assistant location manager (as Mark Depace)
Craig DiFolco .... assistant: Hunting Lane Films
Leo Driver .... parking coordinator
Joe Facey .... caterer
Darin Frank .... legal counsel
Stacy Frankel .... assistant: Original Media
Amparo Garcia .... set intern
Gina Gordon .... clearance supervisor (as Gina P. Gordon)
Steven Gorel .... office intern
Scott Greene .... parking production assistant
Shawn Hamilton .... production accountant
John Henry .... assistant production coordinator
James Hundley .... parking production assistant
Ilana Lifshitz .... payroll accountant
Melissa Lucier .... office intern
Anthony Martinez .... parking production assistant
Marcy McKenzie .... location manager
Tony Osso .... script supervisor
Jillian Paul .... office intern
Alyson Perlongo .... assistant: Original Media
Justin Rigby .... key set production assistant
Morgan Roberts .... set intern
Adam Salky .... assistant: Hunting Lane Films
Sofie Sandberg .... set intern
Michael Sapia .... parking production assistant
Ashley Sawyer .... set intern
Lara Sfire .... office production assistant
David Sheffield .... set intern
Howard Shipman .... parking production assistant
Kareem Taylor .... set intern
Joe Wehmeyer .... key set production assistant
Rachel Williams .... office intern
Sam Yoo .... location intern
 
Thanks
Jay Duplass .... thanks
Craig Kestel .... special thanks
Scott Macaulay .... thanks
Rachel McAdams .... thanks
Jeremy Pikser .... special thanks
Michelle Satter .... special thanks
Gary Winick .... thanks
Boaz Yakin .... thanks
Howard Zinn .... thanks
 

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
MPAA:
Rated R for drug content throughout, language and some sexuality
Runtime:
USA:106 min (Sundance Film Festival)
Country:
Language:
Color:
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
(According to the filmmakers' commentary on the DVD) the film was shot hand-held, except for a short sequence in Dan Dunne's apartment. The sequence in Dunne's apartment happens when he is not there, and it contains all static shots. These static shots were shot on a tripod.See more »
Quotes:
Drey:How does it feel when you smoke that stuff?See more »
Movie Connections:
References How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (1966) (TV)See more »
Soundtrack:
Stars & SonsSee more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
56 out of 78 people found the following review useful.
The 'dialectics' indie filmmakers Ryan Fleck and Anna Boden created in "Half Nelson" is realized by Ryan Gosling and Shareeka Epps' unarguably nuanced performances, 3 September 2006
Author: Ruby Liang (ruby_fff) from sf, usa

Ryan Gosling is truly amazing in his film role deliveries. His breakthrough role in "The Believer" 2001 was explosively intense. He consistently gives integral reflective portrayals, even for a departure romantic role in director Nick Cassavetes' "The Notebook" 2004, he was absolutely convincing as Noah who loves Rachel McAdam's Allie to the core. Here in "Half Nelson," he appears to disappear into Dan Dunne, a high school teacher with an ideal and a crack addiction problem. That sure sounds contradictory in terms: a teacher being a role model, while drug addiction a totally unacceptable behavior. As Dunne wrote on the blackboard in the beginning: 'Dialectics,' the film "Half Nelson" is in itself dialectics demonstrated.

Gosling's Mr. Dunne the history 'teach' doubling also as basketball coach, meeting (a solid matching delivery from) Shareeka Epps' Drey, the 13-year old student who 'found' him and 'witnessed' his secret - theirs is a relationship, naturally portrayed, of two 'opposing' forces as dialectics as can be. I felt Drey is the primary force that 'helped' Dunne's secondary force to yield and together, they created a contradiction anew as life goes on.

I remember from a 1969 book, a quote that might describe the heart of "Half Nelson": "Contradictions are the source of all movement and of all life. All things are in themselves contradictory and it is this principle, more than any other, which expresses the essence of things."

In a way, contradictory yet similar: Dunne and Drey both are 'on their own' trying to hang on, to manage the conflicts in their life's journey. Do we need all the answers in life? Do we have to know why someone behave as he/she does or something happen as it did? Director Ryan Fleck and co-writer/editor/producer Anna Boden tried not to 'over-explain anything'. Sometimes the answer can simply be: "I don't know."

"Half Nelson" is an ambitious film. Besides 'comments' on educational system, single parent family strife, Dan's addiction predicament, the script also managed to include political viewpoints unobtrusively expressed through talking heads of single student reciting historical civil rights movement events. The 'R' rating does indicate some intimate scenes, clever inter-cuts juxtaposing what the two forces were each doing at the moment. Music (by "Broken-Social-Scene") is timely applied at certain segments but sparingly. Well-rounded supporting cast, especially Anthony Mackie as Frank the 'friendly' dealer who may want to do right by Drey but only in the way he knows how within the realms of selling drugs (reminds me of w-d Boaz Yakin's "Fresh" 1994, brilliant debut performance by Sean Nelson as the 12-year old interacting with a dealer 'mentor').

Kudos to all involved on "Half Nelson". The film was shot in Brooklyn, New York. Thanks to ThinkFilm for being the distributor (documentary: Spellbound; Murderball; March of the Penguins; drama: The Last Kiss - Italy; Kontroll - Hungary; Gus Van Sant's Gerry).

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