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. Simonet, as played by Kevin Spacey, exudes some unusually dangerous vibrations in the seventh-grade classroom. What he's seen of the world has given him a cold intensity: he doesn't really expect his students to shake off their adolescent lethargy, but he's got no energy for coddling them either.

 

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