Take a Hike

‘HALF NELSON' & ‘OLD JOY'

Ryan Fleck’s downbeat school drama, Half Nelson, is the kind of indie effort that is truly a creation of the film festival. Fleck first did the film as a bargain-basement short, then, after winning Sundance’s 2004 Grand Jury Prize in short filmmaking, he got some funding together and took a second, feature-length whack at the same materia. He returned to Sundance this year and won Best Film.

Over the decades, the myth of a teacher...

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About the Author

Rand Richards Cooper, one of Commonweal's film critics, is the author of two works of fiction, The Last To Go and Big as Life.