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Half Nelson (2006) - movie overview

Half Nelson (2006)

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Plot Description

Release Date
 USA: Aug 11, 2006

Budget USD 700,000
BoxOffice: $2.6M

MPAA Rating
Rated R for drug content throughout, language and some sexuality.

Running Time
1 hour, 46 minutes

Country USA

Production Companies
Hunting Lane Films, Silverwood Films, Journeyman Pictures, Original Media, Traction Media

Studio ThinkFilm

More info on

Other Titles
• Half Nelson (2006)

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Genre: Drama

Plot: High school teacher Dan (Ryan Gosling) and quiet teenager Drey (Shareeka Epps) are two lonely souls who wander the planet looking to attach some semblance of meaning to their chaotic lives. Dan teaches Drey in a dilapidated school in Brooklyn, New York. Their relationship is unremarkable until Drey discovers Dan collapsed and clutching a crack pipe in a grimy toilet cubicle in the high school gym. It is from this pivotal moment that director Ryan Fleck builds a tentative friendship between these two unlikely allies, creating one of 2006's most arresting films in the process.

Carefully steering his film away from any overtly sentimental material, Fleck and co-writer Anna Boden create a gritty, powerful narrative that feels painfully real as it flickers into life. Very little back-story to either of Fleck and Boden's central protagonists is revealed, forcing the audience to draw its own conclusions as to what personal hells Dan or Drey may have emerged from. Dan's addiction steadily worsens as the movie progresses, and Gosling portrays his drug-addled life in the saddest way possible. Dan is a likeable character with a clear affection for the kids he teaches, and it's distressing to watch him losing his grip on reality. Relief comes only intermittently as Drey's presence in

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 Directed by
Ryan Fleck
Have You Seen This Man?, Gowanus, Brooklyn, Young Rebels
 Written by
Anna Boden
Gowanus, Brooklyn, Have You Seen This Man?, Young Rebels
Ryan Fleck
Have You Seen This Man?, Gowanus, Brooklyn, Young Rebels
Ryan Gosling
The Notebook, Remember the Titans, Murder by Numbers
Jay O. Sanders
The Day After Tomorrow, JFK, Glory
Shareeka Epps
Gowanus, Brooklyn, Alien vs. Predator: AVP2
Anthony Mackie
Million Dollar Baby, 8 Mile, The Manchurian Candidate
Monique Curnen
Lady in the Water, Angel, Guerrilla
Karen Chilton
Gowanus, Brooklyn
Tina Holmes
Storytelling, Edge of Seventeen, Keane
 Music By
Snow Cake, The Love Crimes of Gillian Guess, Almost Strangers



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