A motorcycle stunt rider turns to robbing banks as a way to provide for his lover and their newborn child, a decision that puts him on a collision course with an ambitious rookie cop navigating a department ruled by a corrupt detective.
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
Was originally made as the short film Gowanus, Brooklyn (2004), which won an award at the Sundance Film Festival. Shareeka Epps and Karen Chilton reprise their roles as Drey and Drey's mother. Matt Kerr, who plays the substitute teacher Mr. Light in this film, played Mr. Dunne in the original short. See more »
Are you a communist?
I was looking through your books. Che in Africa?
The Communist Manifesto?
If I had a copy of Mein Kampf, would that make me a Nazi?
[Eating leftover dinner]
You know, this is really good. Very tasty.
You should try it warm.
Well, you don't have a copy of Mein Kampf, but if you did, then yes, I'd ask if you were a Nazi.
Maybe I'm hiding it.
[...] See more »
Half Nelson, to be totally honest, does tend to drag you along because the theme and story definitely aren't gripping. In fact, here's the summary: A drug addict history teacher and a clever young black student develop a strong friendship and end up changing each other's lives. Sound boring? I thought so but the raving about Ryan Gosling and his Oscar nominated performance attracted me and plus I've got a lot of free time in my hands as well. By the way, he was brilliant for an actor of his experience and definitely deserved the nomination....but just the nomination since he really had no chance against Forest Whitaker (The Last King of Scotland). Anyway if you start watching the movie and you think "Damn! This is too slow and the plot isn't going anywhere" don't give up just bear with it till the end and I guarantee you'll feel fully satisfied and that you've just watched a brilliant piece of art.
The message is another thing to rave about as well because the movie isn't only trying to tell the viewers that "drugs are bad...especially if you're a teacher" but also you'll note that the main character (Ryan) has no racial distinction. And he feels that Blacks and Whites shouldn't be judged differently and it will probably make anyone who watches it feel the same way....or at least most of us (I really can't imagine a member of the KKK's view of black people alter in the slightest after watching it.) But the message is powerful and beautiful and I felt very good inside after watching it. My point here is that don't only expect an amazing performance but also an amazing movie in general. I'd give it 7/10.
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