I watched a really good movie tonight. Ryan Gosling, formerly known for the sappy chick-flick The Notebook, garnered an Oscar nomination for his role as a depressed inner-city school teacher struggling with drug addition in Half Nelson. This film surprised me on many levels. Gosling’s performance is amazing, as is that of the young co-star, played by Shareeka Epps.
Although thankfully I never been drug-addicted, a lot of the themes in this movie hit home with me. Gosling’s character has a lot in common with me and a lot of my friends — college-educated, generally liberal types who once imagined nothing less than their life meaning something for the greater good of humanity. Although it’s a dark film with a lot of sad, spiraling events, there’s also a lot of hope derived from the relationship from the teacher and the bright, young student.