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)

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More by Peter Debruge
The Little Documentary That Could
The Little Documentary That Could
How Morgan Spurlock's 'Super Size Me' took a giant bite out of the fast-food industry

May 14, 2004

Big Fat Independent Movies
Blind Horizon
Sending Off SXSW Film 04

March 26, 2004

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle