Kevin Spacey

Film

Pay it Forward (2000)

Directed by Mimi Leder

For anyone with an ounce of idealism, or any fond memories of singing "Pass It On," Pay It Forward offers some morally powerful moments, at least at the beginning. It opens with a facially scarred teacher, Gene Simonet, directing his students to come up with a plan to change the world.

Film

Hidden beauty

American Beauty (1999), directed by Sam Mendes

Extreme times demands extreme art, and American Beauty is extreme. It is an extremely funny, extremely touching, extremely disturbing look at the dysfunctions of suburban America. But it does not wallow in dysfunction. It dares to find hope amidst the horror.

Film

Sales job

The Big Kahuna (1999), directed by John Swanbeck

Depersonalizing the buyer is the key to efficient selling. That's not an entirely unexpected theme in a film about three salesmen. What is unexpected in The Big Kahuna is the specific corollary to that statement: depersonalizing the buyer is the key to the efficient selling of Christ.