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Half Nelson (2006)

Man… I’m sweating like George Bush on Judgment Day.

— Dan Dunne

I haven’t seen Half Nelson in a couple of years. Ryan Gosling received a Best Actor Oscar nomination for his performance. I thought I might revisit the movie to see if the movie is still effective. The answer to that question is no.

A young upstart, Dan Dunne (Gosling) is teaching at an inner city junior high school in New York City. He tries to get his students to think about history and how they should learn from the past to become people in the future. He also coaches the school’s girl basketball team. His life is thrown for a loop with his ex, Rachel (Tina Holmes) comes back to town. She comes to the game, but it was a losing game.

After the game, one of Dan’s students, Drey (Shareeka Epps) comes into the locker rom to find him smoking a crack pipe in one of the stalls. He wants her to kept what she saw a secret. He gives her a ride home when her deadbeat father doesn’t even bother trying to pick her up.

Drey begins to cut Mr. Dunne’s class. Drey’s mother Karen, (Karen Chilton) is concerned for her daughter. So she won’t end up being the wrong crowd that got Drey’s brother in jail. She especially doesn’t want her hanging out with the local drug dealer, Frank (Anthony Mackie) and making her hustle for him.

During time at the teacher’s lounge, Jimbo (Denis O’Hare) express his disgust that a crack pipe was recently found in the locker room. Dan and Drey develop a close relationship that for some people would be perceived as inappropriate.

I think that the movie lost its luster for me. I guess, I couldn’t believe that nobody would have pegged this guy as a crackhead. If he was using regularly, he would look like death. I wouldn’t believe that he and Drey would be close friends. I’m surprised that other teachers or administrators wouldn’t have found out.

I know that the movie won a couple of Spirit Awards for both Ryan and Shareeka. I think the movie felt disingenuous to me. It’s a shame, because I loved this movie a couple of years ago. I don’t know what happened.

Judgment: Ryan Gosling comes into his own in this movie.

Rating: 7/10

The 2011 Omie Award Winners

Another year has gone by. It is that time ladies and gentlemen to reveal to winners of the people and pictures that should have been nominated for Oscars. (Side note: There were a number of people who voted for people or pictures that were nominated for Oscars. It’s not the point of the awards. This is for the ones left out of the running.) Here are the winners of the third annual Omie Awards.

The Omie Award for Most Deserving Picture goes to…

for the showing that nerd hero could triumph at the end,

Scott Pilgrim vs the World. Producers: Eric Glitter, Nira Park, Marc Platt and Edgar Wright

The Omie Award for Most Deserving Director goes to…

for winning his second Omie award as making a dizzying thriller taking place in the human mind,

Christopher Nolan, “Inception”

The Omie Award for Most Deserving Actor goes to…

for portraying a husband that is desperately trying to keep his marriage together, Dean,

Ryan Gosling, “Blue Valentine”

The Omie Award for Most Deserving Actress goes to…

for portraying the bad-ass, highly-intellectual computer hacker, Lisbeth Salander,

Noomi Rapace, “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”

The Omie Award for Most Deserving Supporting Actor goes to…

for portraying the betrayed friend/lesser known co-founder of Facebook, Eduardo Severin,

Andrew Garfield, “The Social Network”

The Omie Award for Most Deserving Supporting Actress goes to…

for playing a determined stage mother that might have a screw or two loose, Erica Sayers,

Barbara Hershey, “Black Swan”

The Omie Award for Most Deserving Original Song goes to…

for making epitome of teenage rebellion,

We Are Sex Bob-omb,” from “Scott Pilgrim vs the World”

The Omie Award for Most Deserving Foreign Language Film goes to…

a film that showed the ramifications of adultery, betrayal  and lust,

“I Am Love” . Director, Luca Guadagnino

The Omie Award for Most Deserving Animated Feature goes to…

for re-telling the classic story of Brothers Grimm’s, “Rapunzel”

“Tangled”. Directors, Nathan Greno and Byron Howard

The Omie Award for Most Deserving Original Screenplay goes to…

for the story of a young ballerina trying to find her inner dark side,

“Black Swan”. Written by Mark Heyman, Andres Heinz and John J. McLaughlin

The Omie Award for Most Deserving Adapted Screenplay goes to…

for adapting the geeky anime-style manga book,

“Scott Pilgrim vs the World”. Written by Michael Bacall and Edgar Wright. Based on the graphic novel series by Bryan Lee O’Malley

The Omie Award for Most Deserving Documentary goes to…

for displaying a pointed look at the way the educational system is in disarray,

“Waiting for Superman”. Producers: Leslie Chilcott and Michael Birtel

And for the granddaddy of them all, The Suck-It! Award goes to…

for Clint Eastwood’s disaster of movie about psychics, death and the Tsunami, 

“Hereafter” nominated for Best Visual Effects.

Congratulations to all of the winners that should have been nominated for Oscars instead of safe choices that were nominated this year. especially, the “Scott Pilgrim” was has won the most with three, followed by “Black Swan” with two. I hope to see you again next year as the Academy screw over more deserving nominees for blah movies and performances.

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