Half Nelson 2006

Amazon Instant Video

(40) IMDb 7.3/10
Available on Prime

Featuring an Oscar-nominated performance by Ryan Gosling (Drive), HALF NELSON is a moving story of redemption in an unforgiving world. Dan Dunne (Gosling) is a dynamic and inspirational inner city high school teacher. But his personal disappointments and disillusionment have led to a serious drug habit.

Starring:
Ryan Gosling, Shareeka Epps
Runtime:
1 hour 42 minutes

Half Nelson

By placing your order, you agree to our Terms of Use. Sold by Amazon Instant Video.

Product Details

Genres Drama
Director Ryan Fleck
Starring Ryan Gosling, Shareeka Epps
Supporting actors Tina Holmes, Anthony Mackie, Nicole Vicius, Christopher Williamson
Studio Axiom
BBFC rating Suitable for 15 years and over
Rental rights 48 hour viewing period. Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Instant Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Mr. A. J. Richards on 5 Feb 2008
Format: DVD
Ryan Gosling is exceptional in his role as a teacher at a comprehensive school and gives off raw emotion that at times is not only difficult for the character but the audience watching. He is superb and is an actor to watch for the long-term future.
Despite Gosling's inability to relate to the people that try and get on with him who are not directly involved in his life, he comes across as a simple but effective man but with hidden side-issues on what kind of world he is living in. He gets through any emotive negative within him by being truthful to himself and witty with others.
The film flows smoothly and without any preudice towards generic charachters and the music is unique and fitting. All the supporting players do a great job especially the drug-pimp(probably the nicest dealer portrayed in films) but theres the point of the film, do not take people on face-value or even the things they do to make money or get-by because there is a deeper meaning to what these characters are trying to achieve.
A film i could relate to and i especially like the scene where Gosling gets asked by his 'over-night guest' in the morning "Why do you have a copy of the mien kampf?" and he answers with a slightly cold but reasonable answer of "Just because i have a copy of that book, it doesnt make me a nazi". Theres something odd yet distinctive about the way he looks at life and the surprises with in his own. Its not till the end that Gosling's character realises its time to believe in not just his own thoughts but of those around him...and more importantly kick the habit..because although its an easy to get into and difficult slippery slide to hide your irresponsibilty, its a route that must be declined!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By CJR on 4 Oct 2007
Format: DVD
I bought this on the basis of a good magazine review, and i wasn't disappointed. It takes a bit of getting into at first as the style of filming is a bit bizarre and things keep coming in and out of focus; but Ryan Gosling is fantastic as he draws you in and leaves you wanting more. Half Nelson is dark and sad and you find yourself just hoping Drey and Dan can sort their lives out. The ending is kind of up in the air but it doesn't leave you in despair so that's gotta be good! Gosling deserved that Oscar nomination for his superb performance and i for one will definitely be watching this again.
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Demob Happy on 22 July 2007
Format: DVD
Half Nelson tells the story of an idealistic young teacher Dan, unable to break his cycle of cocaine and crack abuse. Labouring under the delusion that he will finish an illustrated children's book on 'dialectics', he teaches history at a run-down innercity school. Bringing left-wing theory into his lessons on the civil rights movement, his classes comprise predominately black teenagers from a poor suburb. When he has the sobreity to give them, that is; throughout the film he is increasingly unable to function with any kind of clarity.

Early in the film he is found in a locker room cubicle high on crack by one of his students Drey, and a tacit understanding is reached between them. She, whose brother has been incarcerated from involvement in the drug trade, can see how crack is devestating her community, but is still allured by the success of 'Frank', a drug dealing "family friend". Frank gradually enrolls her in his business; drugs providing her with a potential but probably ephemeral means of escape from the squalor of her broken home. For Dan, the escape is from the burden of completing his book, and from turning his political ideals into affirmative action. His inertia and drug-addled stupour are shown in contrast to footage of highly impassioned speeches from the civil rights movement, calling on people to throw themselves down on the machinery of the system to grind it to a halt. Decades after the civil rights movement, many people in the black community are still caught up in the prison system, or denied opportunities to further themselves socially; but Dan is increasingly aware how little he can do about it. His classes on the dialectics of change through opposition, start to sound hollow when there is so little hope for his students.
Read more ›
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. B. Aegerter on 1 Sep 2008
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This film is beautiful. Gosling is so convincing it is almost difficult to envisage him having a real life outside of his character. He totally captures the dark, elusive, sweetly-sly but fading charisma that goes with the drowning addict. The whole creation is so atmospheric, so tense, so tragic and so bleak, that I almost found the ending unrealistically optimistic (i.e. Dunne is still alive). His descent into addiction hell is so accurately and painfully portrayed, it is difficult to envisage how he could still keep going. There was a horrible poignant reality about the whole thing that should serve as a warning to all young people who think drugs are cool. I don't know how the hell I missed this film when it came out or how the hell Gosling did NOT win an oscar.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Mr. B. A. D. Plowman VINE VOICE on 6 Oct 2007
Format: DVD
HALF NELSON is a steadily paced, low-key movie from director Ryan Fleck. Given the subject matter, this flick could have easily become a syrupy melodrama, but it's understated, "fly on the wall" presentation helps the highly talented actors to weave their magic beautifully. This ain't MELODRAMA, this is REALISM.

The film is ostensibly about the relationship between crack addict history teacher DAN and his pupil DREY. Both of them lead troubled, uneasy lives and each feels a responsibilty for the other. Crucially, the magnificent performances of Ryan Gosling and Shareeka Epps serve to make each character sympathetic and very, very likeable. Gosling, in particular, is MAGNETIC in this movie.

HALF NELSON is a deeply absorbing character study and well worth a watch. It is a worthy examination of our vulnerability as human beings - the mistakes we constantly make and the people we inadvertently hurt as a result. Above all, it highlights our compassionate nature and our innate ability to care for one another. This is one of those movies whereby you finish watching it and maybe resolve to become a better person!

As a final comment, I also feel compelled to say that the closing scene of this flick is near-perfect.

A thought-provoking, satisfying film. RECOMMENDED.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Product Images from Customers

Most Recent Customer Reviews