Half Nelson Movie Review Summary

Actors: Ryan Gosling, Shareeka Epps, Anthony Mackie, Monique Curnen, Karen Chilton

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Half Nelson

Dan (Ryan Gosling) is a white teacher in an urban middle school. A child of liberal parents, he wants his students to understand the political and societal machine that rules their lives. He is also a crack-addict. One day after his old girlfriend tells him she has kicked the habit, he unwisely takes crack in school and one of his favorite students sees him. Her name is Dray (Shareeka Epps) and she is a black girl with family problems of her own.
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She doesn't turn him in but he can see her disappointment in him. At first she avoids going to school because of this unwanted secret. He too is embarrassed and ashamed to see her. But after awhile they build a honest friendship. Shareeka's brother is in prison and her mother is always working. When the local drug-dealer, her brother's friend, tries to turn her into a drug-dealer business also, Dan tries to prevent it although his crack addiction is spiralling out of control.

The review of this Movie prepared by Carole McDonnell

    This movie is about a unique relationship which develops between a white schoolteacher, his African-American student and a local drug dealer. The story of this movie revolves around a inner-city teacher with a drug problem.

    Dan lives in his Brooklyn apartment, he is living a miserable life, he sleeps on a sheet less bed or on a ratty couch, if he sleeps at all. The movie starts with Dan (Ryan Gosling) sits at a coffee table, up all night from a coke binge, shut off his buzzing alarm clock. A new day is starting, with or without him. As he has to go to work, to teach his middle-school history class, just like any other day.

    Dan Dunne is a charismatic and dedicated inner-city Brooklyn junior high school teacher with a serious drug problem. Dan Dunne in other words is a disaster waiting to happen and a heartbreaker to the kids he care about, when he wastes himself at night, he's a wreck the next day in the classroom where he teaches his students and in the gym where he coaches basketball.

    One of his student newcomer Shareeka Epps, a prematurely wise 13-year-old notice Dan's drug problem, she has seen drug dealing up close in her own family. Dan and Shareeka, develops a relationship they becomes good friends. This movie is rated R for drug content throughout, language and some sexuality. The film seems like the story of half hour starched to one and a half hour.

The review of this Movie prepared by Faiza Iqtidar

Script Analysis of Half Nelson

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Plot & Themes

Time/era of movie:    -   2000's+ (present) Inner struggle or disability    -   Yes Job/Profession/Poverty Story?    -   Yes Job:    -   teacher Druggie/drunk problems?    -   drugs

Main Character

Identity:    -   Male Profession/status:    -   teacher/professor Age:    -   20's-30's Ethnicity/Nationality    -   White American Unusual characteristics:    -   Physically sick    -   Super sensitive soggy jelly muffin


United States    -   Yes City?    -   Yes Misc setting    -   school

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   no torture/death Any profanity?    -   Occasional swearing    -   Some foul language

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