Movie Review: Half Nelson"

Every year I make a goal to watch all the major nominated Academy Award movies. Usually I end up watching only half of them because someone end up being too much on the R-rated side for me to stand. I don't usually watch rated R movies because I don't like watching gore, sex, language or heavy violence in my entertainment. The Oscars are usually my exception because they're supposed to be the best movies of the year.

Ryan Gosling plays Dan Dunn, an inner city junior high history teacher. He's not your average teacher as he doesn't base his teachings on the curriculum, as is able to draw his students to learn more. However he has a secret he's been hiding, he is also a drug addict. When one of his students discovers this secret, they form a bond that will either damage or strengthen their relationship.

Ryan Gosling was gosh darned good in this role. He totally deserved the Best Actor nomination he received. To me he'd always been the blond hot guy from Breaker High or Young Hercules. To most people he's the dude from The Notebook or Rachel McAdam's boyfriend. Hopefully now he can come into his own as he'll always be "Academy Award nominee Ryan Gosling" every time he's billed.

Yes there is a LOT of drug use in this movie. I know that the drugs used in the movie are fake but it's uncomfortable watching the amount that is used. It's pretty disconcerting especially during the scenes when Frank gets Drey to help him out on his drug runs. I love the indie feel to the movie. It makes you feel like you are watching real life instead of some big over budgeted blockbuster. This is a movie where I cannot recommend it to everyone. It's not a movie you would go to be entertained. It's a movie that makes you think.

This movie is rated R for drug content throughout, language and sexuality.


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