7.2/10
79,984
199 user 214 critic

Half Nelson (2006)

Trailer
2:21 | Trailer

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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.

Director:

Ryan Fleck
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Popularity
1,741 ( 371)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 29 wins & 47 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ryan Gosling ... Dan Dunne
Jeff Lima ... Roodly
Shareeka Epps ... Drey
Nathan Corbett ... Terrance
Tyra Kwao-Vovo Tyra Kwao-Vovo ... Stacy
Rosemary Ledee Rosemary Ledee ... Gina
Tristan Mack Wilds ... Jamal (as Tristan Wilds)
Bryce Silver Bryce Silver ... Bernard
Kaela C. Pabon Kaela C. Pabon ... Lena
Erica Rivera Erica Rivera ... Erika (as Erika Rivera)
Stephanie Bast ... Vanessa
Eleanor Hutchins ... Simone
Sebastian Sozzi ... Javier
Tina Holmes ... Rachel
Karen Chilton ... Karen
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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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

22 September 2006 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Fél Nelson See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$700,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$53,983, 13 August 2006

Gross USA:

$2,694,973, 10 December 2006
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Quotes

Dan: [after watching Mario Savio's speech about The Machine] What is this machine that he's walking about? It's keeping us down, what is it?
Jamal: Like, robots and stuff, right?
Dan: Umm... it could be robots. It could be robots, but let's say it's a metaphor. He's saying this machine is keeping you down. Now, what is that? What keeps us from being free? Ms. Drey?
Drey: Prisons.
Dan: Absolutely. Absolutely, prisons. OK? Prisons are definitely a part of it. What else?
Terrence: White!
Dan: White is definitely a part of it. The Man.
Student: The ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Featured in The 79th Annual Academy Awards (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

Soho Dancer
Written and Performed by Stanton Davis
Published by Delta Six Music, Inc.
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User Reviews

 
The only constant is change.
26 December 2007 | by lastliberalSee all my reviews

Ryan Gosling and Shareeka Epps were just plain awesome in this film by Ryan Fleck.

Gosling was impressive as an addict that was trying to hold on and teach. You could see the constant struggle as he fought giving up. The back and forth with Epps was quietly enchanting. Both certainly showed great acting talent in this film.

No loud action and prurient subject matter, just a sweet film showing a man's struggle and a girl's growing up realizing that drugs cripple. This film is hard to reduce to simple formulas. It transcends any mold and entertains in a reflective manner.


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