Levity [2003]

An all-star cast play vivid characters in Levity, about an ex-con named Manual Jordan (Billy Bob Thornton) who finds the sister (Holly Hunter) of the young man he killed many years ago, seeking forgiveness. By accident, he gets involved with a preacher (Morgan Freeman) who has his own demons; Jordan ends up as the custodian of a soup kitchen with a parking lot that also serves patrons of a nearby club, so long as those patrons are willing to sit through 15 minutes of a sermon by the preacher. The narrative depends on a lot of coincidences and some implausible behavior--but the story is secondary. Levity focuses on the characters, which are brought to life by the excellent cast (including Kirsten Dunst as a self-destructive club-goer). The movie lays out its themes of redemption and atonement a bit heavily, but it creates some very human moments along the way. --Bret Fetzer

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