A young boy attempts to make the world a better place after his teacher gives him that chance.A young boy attempts to make the world a better place after his teacher gives him that chance.A young boy attempts to make the world a better place after his teacher gives him that chance.
The subject matter was well-realised, and that alone made it genuinely poignant. I have read some truly unfair reviews, that Pay It Forward is overly sentimental. No, it isn't. The ending was beautiful, and heart-rending too. When I saw this at school, I promised myself I wouldn't cry. But I did oddly enough, but it is very fair to say the ending was very moving, and added to the irony that the young boy Trevor, was unable to change his alcoholic mother's life. The scene in the hospital was also really sad, as I had genuine respect for all the characters.
There were unfortunately two flaws with the film. First of all, the script at times was a bit weak, especially when the three protagonists were not the focus. The other flaw was that sometimes the film's structure felt a little confused, but that's just me. Mimi Leder's direction was slick and attentive, the two ingredients you need to make this sort of film work.
The performances of the three leads were what held this film together. A wonderfully restrained Kevin Spacey played the disfigured teacher, and the scene where we find out what happened to him was shocking to say the least. Helen Hunt matched him beautifully as the mother, who tries to block out her painful life(prostitution, domestic abuse, an alcoholic family member) with drink, much to the despair of her son, Trevor. The real star is Haley Joel Osment, possibly the most talented child actor on film, who perfectly conveyed the 11 year old boy who wants to make a difference. Who wouldn't? All in all, a thoughtful and insightful film, that is genuinely moving. It isn't the most moving film ever, but it is definitely underrated. 8/10 Bethany Cox
- Mar 11, 2009