Friday, May 23, 2008

Half Nelson (2006)

Every movie that features classroom scenes has at least a few that real-life educators will scoff at for being unrealistic. I assume it's the same for any other profession (e.g. "that's not what blasting-off is like!"). Half Nelson does OK in this regard, but it's certainly no exception. A few that come to mind are the small class sizes (actually small class size, since he seems to have only one each day), the respect commanded from inner city adolescents by a young white guy, and the principal who has time or who cares enough to drop by to ask him about the curriculum. But none of that really bothered me. It didn't take away from the brilliant performances by Ryan Gosling, Shareeka Epps as his student who catches him in a very compromising position, and Anthony Mackie as the charismatic drug dealer. And thankfully, since it's an indie film it's also authentic Brooklyn and not Hollywood-Brooklyn filmed in Toronto.

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