Opening today at the Brooklyn Heights Cinema I & II is Half Nelson,(trailer) rated R, a film about the relationship between a teacher (Ryan Gosling), a student and a drug dealer. The movie was filmed in and is set in Brooklyn.
Manohla Dargis writes in the New York Times: Dan (Gosling) wants to save one child at a time, like 13-year-old Drey (the newcomer Shareeka Epps), but he’s committing suicide one crack vial at a time. He’s plagued by such contradictions, some inherited, others self-generated, teaching in a part of Brooklyn that still looks like Brooklyn, trying to do good in the very neighborhood where he buys his drugs. (The film was shot, among other areas, in Gowanus.) The people here are mostly black and brown, and in a film not as mindful of race and representation, the whole thing might come off as sanctimonious or worse. This is dangerous ground for Dan, as well as for the film’s gifted young director, Ryan Fleck, and his writing (and life) partner, Anna Boden.
James Bowman writes in the NY Sun: As a long-time admirer of the beautiful Nathalie Baye, I found terribly poignant the moment when Commandant Caroline "Caro" Vaudieu of the Paris police — her character in Xavier Beauvois's new film, "Le Petit Lieutenant" — crumples after receiving bad news as if she has been shot. But it is also a reminder of what has been left out of this naughty French movie, namely sex. Sex implies vulnerability, and all of Caro's energies are required to prevent hers from being exposed. When, upon her return to the Parisian Criminal Investigation Division, from which she has been exiled to a more bureaucratic job, she breaks into that familiar radiant smile, it is only to remind us of what we will be missing for the rest of the film.
Brooklyn Heights Cinemas I & II
70 Henry Street