Two For The Money (D: D.J. Caruso, 122 min)
After more than a decade and lots of opportunities in the biz, laid-back Southern actor Matthew McConaughey is still searching for that breakout role - one that'll distinguish him from pretty-boy peers like Josh Lucas. This could be the role. He's a washed-up college football player who gets lured into the high-stakes world of sports gambling by über-baddie Al Pacino . Rene Russo , one of the film's producers, is on hand as Pacino's gambling addict wife. Based on a real story - isn't every film these days? - the pic could cash in on the current gambling craze. And sports is always a popular draw.
Opens Friday (October 7). Screened after press time - see review October 6 at www. nowtoronto. com/film.
School Of Life (D: William Dear, 111 min)
After a charismatic middle school teacher passes away, his awkward son ( David Paymer ), also a teacher, tries to get the students to like him, despite the presence of cool new staffer Ryan Reynolds . That seems to be the plot for this film, which arrives here without much fanfare and - not a good sign - no advance press screening.
The attraction is Paymer, an underrated character actor best known for his Oscar-nominated turn as Billy Crystal's brother in Mr. Saturday Night.