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'Half Nelson,' a Twist on the Student-Teacher Theme

Half Nelson, from the Brooklyn filmmaking team of Ryan Fleck and Anna Boden, was a big hit at this year's Sundance Film Festival and the Museum of Modern Art's New Directors film series. Now in a few cities, and opening wider over the next two weeks, it's a different kind of inspirational student-teacher movie -- this time, the teacher is a drug addict.

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David Edelstein is a film critic for New York magazine and for NPR's Fresh Air, and an occasional commentator on film for CBS Sunday Morning. He has also written film criticism for the Village Voice, The New York Post, and Rolling Stone, and is a frequent contributor to the New York Times' Arts & Leisure section.