It was one thing to find this little indie gem and be surprised and charmed by it; to come back to it half a year later, when it’s been singled out for praise and awards, makes for a slightly different experience. I’m still blown away by Ryan Gosling and Shareeka Epps, but the storytelling doesn’t quite work as well the second time around. The seams start showing, and it all feels just a tad safe, familiar, and constructed. The performances definitely make it worth seeing once though.

Half Nelson. Ryan Fleck, 2006. ***

[tags]film, 3 stars, ryan fleck, drugs, ryan gosling, shareeka epps, kids, school, teachers, race[/tags]