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Half Nelson

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Oscar nomination for Best Actor

Synopsis:
Dan Dunne (Ryan Gosling), an idealistic inner-city junior high school teacher, inspires his 13 and 14-year-olds to examine everything from civil rights to Civil War with a new enthusiasm. Rejecting the standard Civil Rights curriculum in favor of an edgier approach, Dan teaches his students how change works — on both a historical and personal scale.

Though Dan can get it together in the classroom, he spends his time outside school on the edge of consciousness. Dealing with a serious drug habit, Dan is a strung-out role model. He juggles his hangovers and his homework, keeping his lives precariously 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.

Cast: Ryan Gosling, Shareeka Epps, Monique Curnen, Karen Chilton, Tina Holmes, Collins Pennie; Directed by: Ryan Fleck

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