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Half Nelson (2006)

By Justin Stoeckel · August 18, 2011

Screenplay Genre: Drama

Movie Time: 107 minutes


After meeting with his ex, Rachel (Tina Holmes), Dan (Ryan Gosling) dips into the girl's locker room to smoke crack and is discovered by his student and player Drey (Shareeka Epps) (00:15:06)

2. LOCK IN (End of Act One)

Drey skips class and Dan wonders if she has told anyone about the incident.  He arrives home from school and gives his apartment a meticulous cleaning. He even does pushups.  The next day, Drey arrives to class late, followed by a visit from Principal Henderson  (Starla Benford).  He joins her in the hallway; she's there to talk curriculum concerns, and it’s clear to Dan that Drey hasn't told anyone. (00:25:28)


Dan has seen drug dealer Frank, (Anthony Mackie) at their basketball games cheering for Drey.  He gives Drey a ride home, so she won't go with Frank and finally confronts Drey about the locker room.  The next day, after school, Dan gives Drey a ride home.  Drey pretends to lose her key, so Dan takes her back to his apartment until her mom gets off work. She helps Dan make dinner and asks him what it's like doing drugs, but Dan doesn't answer.  (00:51:28)

4. MAIN CULMINATION (End of Act Two)

After a school dance, Drey takes a ride from Frank much to Dan's chagrin. He goes on a binge and shows up at fellow teacher (Monique Gabriela Curnen) Isabel's house, forcing himself on her. The next day, Dan receives accusatory stares and hears the whispers of other teachers in the faculty room. He's forced to take lunch in his car. Drey sees Dan in his car and checks on him, but Dan rudely blows her off. (1:20:19)


Feeling betrayed by Dan, Drey turns to Frank for friendship and begins making drug deliveries for him.  She unknowingly delivers drugs to Dan at a seedy motel room filled with hookers and witnesses Dan at his lowest. (1:32:33)