Half Nelson

Rated 5.0

OK, Ryan Gosling is officially one of the best actors in the world at this time. Here he plays Dan Dunne, a schoolteacher with a crack habit. When he smokes up in a locker room after coaching a girls’ basketball team, Drey (Shareeka Epps), one of his teen students, discovers him and eventually becomes his friend. The relationship between these two characters is among the most interesting I’ve ever seen in a movie … ever. Gosling presents a character that feels so real, you actually start worrying for the actor’s health and state of mind. Epps is just one of those natural actresses, playing a young woman, who already seems to have the wisdom of many lives behind her determined stare. I’m excited to see what director Ryan Fleck comes up with next. It will be a crime if Gosling doesn’t get year-end recognition and Oscar consideration for what he does in this film. As of right now, he’s most deserving of a Best Actor nomination.