Half Nelson (2006)
One of the best movies of 2006 and proof that Ryan Gosling is one of the best up-and-coming actors out there today.
Half Nelson is about a middle school teacher with a drug problem who befriends one of his troubled students after she finds him laid out on the floor of the girl’s bathroom, overdosed on crack and seizing in a cold sweat after coaching a basketball game.
Good old middle school. Brings me back…
This movie was pretty hard to find when it was out in theaters and the only significant press it got was when it landed Gosling an Oscar nomination, and you know what? That’s a damn shame.
Half Nelson is kind of what Cut The Crap is all about. It’s beyond me why great movies like this get overlooked and bags of shit like Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest and X-Men: The Last Stand end up being the highest-grossing movies of the year. Screw big budgets and A-list actors. If a movie is good, people should go see it instead of throwing their time and money away in support of a movie that freakin’ sucks.
But I digress.
The thing I like most about Half Nelson is that it’s about real people with real problems. Those are the best kinds of movies because there’s no better source to work from than real life at its hardest. It’s got a heartfelt script with complicated characters that don’t take the easy way out because there are no easy ways out, and that’s what real life is all about. Even if you’re not a dopehead, don’t like kids, and aren’t peddling drugs, there’s still something here to relate to because there’s something very universal about the message of this movie, that everyone at some point in their life needs someone to lean on.
And the other big thing that this movie has going for it is the acting. Even if you only know him from The Notebook (or even better from his role in Lars and the Real Girl – good movie), it’s about time you started to get familiar with Ryan Gosling. He’s absolutely awesome in this movie and the supporting cast is great, too. One of those performances where you find yourself saying, “Where the hell did this guy come from?” A movie worth seeing if only for the Gosling.
But even so, Half Nelson is just a great, affecting movie that’s fantastic each time I see it. So fight the power against shitty Hollywood blockbusters, folks, go watch this movie, and let’s start making a change.
::cue marching band::