it’s been eight days (and 20 movies) since i’ve seen a movie as good as this one. i’m glad gosling got nominated by the academy for his performance here, not so much because it’s amazing, but because i’m glad they recognized his role in a smaller film. both epps and gosling are quite good and, together, they really sell the film. gosling is a teacher who twilights as a junkie and epps is his student whom he befriends (or is it the other way around?). theirs isn’t the conventional relationship, and i don’t want to give anything away with regards to how things do or do not progress between them, but suffice it to say that both are torn in their own way. gosling’s is a difficult character to like, though we’re given reasons that we should. their individual characters and their characters together are realistic, compelling and human. it’s good to see characters drawn from real experiences, rather than simplistic archetypes, clichés or stereotypes. solid and recommendable film.