Adam Bell
Jeff Labrecque
February 12, 2007 AT 05:00 AM EST

Half Nelson

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
R
runtime
107 minutes
Limited Release Date
08/11/06
performer
Shareeka Epps, Ryan Gosling, Anthony Mackie
director
Ryan Fleck
distributor
THINKFilm
author
Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck
genre
Drama

We gave it an A

White teacher (Ryan Gosling) saves urban youth. It’s a Hollywood cliché, but in Half Nelson, when a student (Shareeka Epps) catches Mr. Dunne smoking crack in the girls’ locker room, the two are irrevocably entangled in each other’s precarious lives. EXTRAS Gosling’s vulnerable turn (and Oscar nom) solidifies him as a major dramatic talent, though he lightens up in a series of outtakes punctuated by goofy thumbs-ups. ”Gowanus, Brooklyn,” the 19-minute short (starring Epps) that inspired Nelson, would’ve been nice extra credit, but its absence is this DVD’s only demerit. A

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