The word "levity" is supposed to mean "lightness", but there is certainly nothing light about this stark drama which deals with sin and redemption. Billy Bob Thornton is cast as a troubled man who has just been released from prison for killing a convenience store clerk in a botched robbery 23 years before. He plays the role with quiet stoicism, wears his graying hair shoulder length and speaks in a gentle voice as he returns to the neighborhood where the crime was committed.
Here, he meets Morgan Freeman, a storefront preacher with a secret of his own, and he's given a job as custodian of the place. Kristin Durst is one of the lost young people who he comes in contact with, and in his own simple way, he seems to be making a difference in her life. The person he has come here to meet, however, is the sister of the young man who he had murdered. Holly Hunter is cast in this role and they start to develop a deep friendship, especially when her son gets in trouble and Billy Bob Thornton comes to his aid.
There's a sadness and melancholy to the entire film, which is set on cold dreary winter streets. It's slow, bleak and rather creepy, especially when the hero is visited over and over again by the apparition of the young man who he has murdered. I found the concept interesting, the acting excellent and the story sad and depressing. And yet, it was a fine film.