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Kevin Smith Applauds Half Nelson

Published August 11, 2006 in Movie Previews
By Ryan Parsons | Images property of THINKFilm.
We will kick off our first official preview for Half Nelson with tons of compliments from director Kevin Smith during an appearance on Ebert & Roeper.

Half Nelson Gets Early Love


Dan Dunne (Ryan Gosling) is a young inner-city junior high school teacher whose ideals wither and die in the face of reality. Day after day in his shabby Brooklyn classroom, he somehow finds the energy to inspire his 13 and 14-year-olds to examine everything from civil rights to the Civil War with a new enthusiasm. Rejecting the standard curriculum in favor of an edgier approach, Dan teaches his students how change works – on both a historical and personal scale – and how to think for themselves.

Though Dan is brilliant, dynamic, and in control in the classroom, he spends his time outside school on the edge of consciousness. His disappointments and disillusionment have led to a serious drug habit. He juggles his hangovers and his homework, keeping his lives separated, until one of his troubled students, Drey (Shareeka Epps), catches him getting high after school.

From this awkward beginning, Dan and Drey stumble into an unexpected friendship. Despite the differences in their ages and situations, they are both at an important intersection. Depending on which way they turn – and which choices they make – their lives will change.

Half Nelson Poster Half Nelson Poster


Kevin Smith recently viewed Half Nelson while filling in on Ebert & Roeper and had nothing but praise for the film.

“Our next flick is not just the best film I saw all week, but easily the best film I’ve seen all year, if not one of the ten best I’ve seen in a decade. It’s called HALF NELSON, and it’s a powerful reminder that American independent film is alive and well and can still be the most penetrating cinema when in the right hands. Those hands belong to Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck.”

“There aren’t enough thumbs in the world to do HALF NELSON half the justice it deserves. This is just simply an incredible film.”

“This pops. This pops in a big bad way. And also, when you look at it, it’s the work of people who haven’t made a lot of flicks. Like this dude, Fleck, this is, he took the short film he had, blew it up into this feature and it holds . . . You know, like it’s an amazing piece to look at where, I sit there as a filmmaker and I’m like, this dude’s way better than me. I’ve been doing this twelve years. This dude is phenomenal.”

Half Nelson opens to theatres on August 25th.

For the trailer and more movie info, go to the Half Nelson Movie Page.

Stay tuned for updates.

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Ryan Parsons
Sources: Images property of THINKFilm.
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