by Wuchak - Is this helpful?
***Meditation on the nature of guilt and redemption with Billy Bob Thornton and Morgan Freeman***
Released in 2003 and written/directed by Ed Solomon, “Levity” concerns a man in the Great Lakes region (Billy Bob Thornton) who’s released from prison after 23 years of confinement. He returns to the big city where he murdered a 17 year-old cashier and finds lodging & work at a community house run by a priest with edge (Morgan Freeman). Seeking forgiveness, he pursues a relationship with the sister of the boy he killed (Holly Hunter) while helping a wild young woman who lacks adult guidance and is wasting her life (Kirsten Dunst).
The meaning of the title, "Levity" can be traced to this conversation: “What are you thinking about?” “Gravity.” “It doesn't last long.” So ‘Levity’ is meant as the opposite of gravity and graveness. It stems from the Latin root ‘levis,’ which means "light in weight” or even "changeableness." It means "lightness” in every respect. Life is tragic and painful. We do senseless, unkind things to one another in various states of spiritual growth and immaturity. We spend our whole lives being dragged down to our inescapable end ("Gravity kills"). But we sooner or later must let go of this gravity and realize that there is joy to be had. Redemption is the return of that joy, that Levity.
Critics argued that the flick could really use some levity in light of it being burdened by dour self-importance and a heavy-handed moral. The tone is similar to other spiritual movies, like “Grand Canyon” (1991) and “The Woodsman” (2004), but not as effective in overall quality. One problem is there’s a little too much ambiguity and another is the weakly executed subplot about the woman’s juvenile delinquent son and his violent gang proclivities, which comes off wholly contrived.
Still, there’s enough good here to recommend to those who appreciate the kinds of films noted above, films that try to balance the reverence and beauty of life with the profane, foolish and ugly. I loved the way Dunst’ character rolled with the inner city youth. Actually, all four main cast members shine in their roles.
The movie runs 1 hour, 40 minutes and was shot in Montreal.