Words: Saam Das
SYNOPSIS: "Drama about the unlikely alliance that forms between a drug-addicted New York school teacher (Ryan Gosling) and one of his students after she inadvertently discovers his secret." (bbc.co.uk)
2011 is quite possibly the breakout year for Ryan Gosling. He's appeared in mainstream romantic comedy 'Crazy Stupid Love', soon-to-be cult classic 'Drive', and Oscar fodder 'The Ides Of March'. Gosling's talent has long been recognised in the film industry however and he received an Oscar nomination for his role in the gritty 'Half Nelson' back in 2007.
This isn't the story of an inspirational teacher, a la 'Dead Poet's Society' or 'Dangerous Minds'. Nor is it a conventional "drugz r bad" tale, although its message is clear in that respect. Instead 'Half Nelson' is much more about the battle against one's circumstances. And unsurprisingly with Gosling at its centre, it's a fascinating battle.
'Half Nelson' is available to watch on BBC iPlayer until 00:39, 2 Nov '11. Purchase on DVD at amazon.co.uk.