Friday, October 23, 2009

Ryan Gosling in "Half Nelson" - This Flick's Smart and It's Got Heart

I used to think I would be an actor until I realized how unrealistic that was, which was when I decided I'd make my millions writing literary fiction. The point, though, is that I've acted in a few plays in my time, high school stuff and a bit in uni and then even a play in Japan.

Thus like a fellow whose played a few seasons of somewhat serious softball and so gets how hard it really might be to hit a major league fastball, my acting experience has allowed me to be a mad lover of a great performance on screen (or stage).

And some movies are all about the great performance. "Half Nelson" (2006) is one of those. The teen-aged girl (Shareeka Epps) in it is amazing. The film's lead, Ryan Gosling ("The Notebook," "The Believer"), makes me want to climb up on a stage again. He is sincerity on a big screen (or small). If authenticity is the heart of a certain kind of great acting, Gosling, who isn't yet 30, is all heart. Raw would probably be the best word to describe his performance.

That's all I really want to say about it.

Ok, I'll also say that Gosling plays a junior high school teacher, and you believe him as a teacher (having spent the better part of a decade in some form of a classroom as the one who gets to/has to hold the chalk, I feel like I've got some fair shakes at an assessment of that one), a teacher who has much passion and cares, he cares about his kids. Also, he's a crack addict. You believe that too. So it's not exactly a light movie. But it's a very very good movie.

7 comments:

  1. how can one ever keep up with you?

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  2. it requires much popcorn chomping and household chore ignoring.

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  3. you do household chore at all? what a revelation

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  4. I have to totally agree with you. Have you seen The Class (French movie)?...check it out.

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  5. I did see The Class. Amazing! Though, as a teacher, it stressed me right out. That Class was a nightmare!

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  6. I was just googling Half Nelson and found your post -- I loved the movie, too, but especially Ryan Gosling. Certain Canadians in Hollywood -- Paul Haggis, for example -- are so overrated, over-rewarded and predictable. It was nice to find one who is actually talented, worthy and can surprise you with his choice of role.

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  7. Thanks for commenting, Rondi. Yeah, Gosling make me proud to be Canadian. Some of the other big-name Canadian comedians have of late, as you said, made terribly predictable, boring, uninspired choices. What was Mike Myers thinking with Guru?

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