This is a brilliant film. I recently acquired it and plan on watching it again, but this trailer shall give you a taste. Ryan Gosling is superb as an inner city teacher with both a different way of looking at things and a crack addiction. Also his name is Dan, which I appreciate. Though I don't have a crack addiction. But I do have a beard like him. The back of the DVD box has a critic saying something along the lines of Gosling being "one of the most exciting actors of his generation" and I could not disagree. Gosling, in this film, proves that he is here to stay as a versatile and profound character actor. It's true, there is something incredibly exciting about watching a young actor like Gosling knock one out of the park, because it's not hard to envision him delivering a long and fruitful career, possibly akin to a Dustin Hoffman type person. And the guy got an Academy Award nomination for this role. No big deal. Have a look at the trailer and then watch the movie. This guy is only going up.
Ryan Gosling as Dan Dunne.
Half Nelson is directed by Ryan Fleck and co-stars Anthony Mackie (also in The Hurt Locker), and Shareeka Epps. It's Fleck's first feature film. The soundtrack is done by Broken Social Scene. It's awesome!