The Big Picture

Fall Movie Preview

Pay It Forward

Every year, social studies teacher Reuben St. Clair (Kevin Spacey) gives his class the same assignment: Think of an idea for world change and put it into action. Did he ever imagine that one of his students could do something to dramatically improve the world? "No, I thought they all would," Reuben replies. "But perhaps in smaller ways." This year, one student (The Sixth Sense's Haley Joel Osment) proposes to repair humanity through three selfless acts of charity. Rather than accept payment for his time and efforts, he will ask the people he helps to "pay it forward," with each of them passing the goodwill on to three more needy individuals in a growing chain. Despite his valiant efforts to aid a homeless junkie (Jim Caviezel), assist an elderly neighbor, and pair his alcoholic mother (Helen Hunt) with his teacher, Trevor's plan seems to backfire as forces of human nature undo the positive effects of his actions. Director Mimi Leder makes a break from the action-packed Deep Impact in this story of humility and random acts of human kindness. (Oct. 20)

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