Ryan Gosling plays a Brooklyn teacher trying to inspire kids while he just can’t say “No.” to his addiction to crack. His is a startling achievement, the film itself is a penetrating, engrossing, outstanding film. And that’s putting it lightly. Gosling’s acting is the highlight here. He sets the bar for the rest of the cast, and those around him rise to the challenge. Shakeera Epps is phenomenal, and makes it look like she has been acting for years.
The story, sad and introspective got mixed reviews, and could have been a “yawner” but Gosling and Epps brought it out of it’s sleep and put it on the table. B+