LEVITY

Content -2
Quality
None Light Moderate Heavy
Language        
Violence        
Sex        
Nudity        

Release Date: April 04, 2003

Starring: Billy Bob Thornton, Morgan
Freeman, Kirsten Dunst, and
Holly Hunter

Genre: Drama

Audience: Older teenagers and
adults REVIEWER: Dr. Tom
Snyder LEVITY is an edgy,
adult Christian drama starring
Billy Bob Thornton as an
ex-convict who's obsessed with
getting forgiveness, yet
doubts he can find redemption.
The movie's rough content
should have been toned down,
and its Christian elements
strengthened, to make it more
accessible to a wider
audience. As a teenager,
Manual Jordan impulsively shot
and killed Abner, the young
clerk of a convenience store,
a boy no older than himself.
Manual has spent the last 23
years in his cell, staring
with regret at the newspaper
photo of his victim. Although
Manual believes he deserves to
remain in prison for his
crime, he is suddenly and
unexpectedly released into the
world. Wandering like a ghost
in the neighborhood where he
committed his crime, Manual
finds a temporary home in a
community center run by the
enigmatic caretaker, Miles
Evans, who preaches Christ to
the bums, teenagers and young
adults hanging around the
area. Miles gets Manual to
clean the center and make sure
that the young adults partying
at a nearby club come listen
to Miles preach for 10
minutes, in return for letting
them park their cars at the
center. At the center, Manual
finds himself helping out one
of the young women, Sofia, who
keeps passing out at the club
after an evening of drunken
revelry. While helping Sofia
find her own way, Manual seeks
out Adele, the older sister of
the boy he killed. He is
unable, however, to confess
his true identity to her,
especially when their
relationship deepens. When her
teenage son becomes embroiled
in his own cycle of violence,
Manual thinks he may have
found his last opportunity for
redemption. One of the central
questions of LEVITY is whether
any number of good acts can
make up for one very bad act?
According to the press notes,
the director thinks he has
left this question unanswered.
The story appears to show,
however, that, even though
Manual does not explicitly
come to Christ, he has had a
change in attitude whereby he
not only seeks forgiveness and
redemption, he also places
himself in situations where he
can make some efforts at
restitution, no matter how
inadequate they may be.
Manual, in fact, doesn't
really find the beginning of
peace until he learns a lesson
of self-sacrifice - putting
his life on the line for
another human being. Thus,
although Manual does not find
Christian redemption through
the work of Jesus Christ on
the Cross, repentance and
restitution (the other two
sides of the salvation
triangle) are part of his
story in this movie. Of
course, the Bible tells us
that our own good works cannot
make up for the sinful nature
which consumes us, only
Christ's work on the cross can
do that. Faith in Christ's
sacrificial death not only
should be accompanied by
repentance, it also should
coincide with a desire to do
good works, out of gratitude
for the Grace of God that
works in us to produce our
salvation. All of the actors
do a fine job in bringing this
movie to life, but LEVITY
would have been a better movie
if its Christian elements were
more fully developed. Also,
although one of Manual's
problems is that there is
little levity in his life,
hence, the movie's title. More
humor would help
counterbalance Manual's somber
disposition. Finally, LEVITY
suffers from an abundance of
unnecessary foul language,
including many "f" words.
There is also an implied sex
scene between Manual and
Adele. The violence in the
movie is restrained,
however. Please address your
comments to: Michael Barker,
Tom Bernard & Marcie
Bloom Co-Presidents Sony
Pictures Classics 550 Madison
Avenue, 8th Floor New York, NY
10022 Phone: (212)
833-8833 Web Page:
www.spe.sony.com

Rating: R

Runtime: 100 minutes

Distributor: Sony Pictures Classics

Director: Ed Solomon

Executive Producer:

Producer: Richard N. Gladstein, Adam J.
Merims and Ed
Solomon EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS:
Morgan Freeman, Lori McCreary,
Fred Schepisi, Douglas
Mankoff, and Andrew Spaulding

Writer: Ed Solomon

Address Comments To:

Content:

(C, B, FR, LLL, VV, S, AA, D, M) Light Christian worldview of an ex-convict searching for redemption in a works-centered way but finding some answers while working in a community center managed by an enigmatic Christian preacher, with some false theological elements or misunderstandings as people debate theology; about 75 obscenities (including many "f" words), two strong profanities and five light profanities; some violence with very little blood, such as young robber murders convenience store clerk in cold blood, implied shooting and scuffle for gun gets one man shot; implied fornication; no nudity; alcohol use and drunkenness; smoking and implied use of pills for their narcotic effects; and, robbery, brief references to street gangs, lying, and criminal evades police.

GENRE: Drama

C

B

FR

LLL

VV

S

AA

D

M

Summary:

LEVITY is an edgy, adult Christian drama starring Billy Bob Thornton as an ex-convict who's obsessed with getting forgiveness, yet doubts he can find redemption. The movie's positive redemptive elements are spoiled by an abundance of unnecessary foul language, including many "f" words, and an implied sex scene.

Review:

LEVITY is an edgy, adult Christian drama starring Billy Bob Thornton as an ex-convict who's obsessed with getting forgiveness, yet doubts he can find redemption. The movie's rough content should have been toned down, and its Christian elements strengthened, to make it more accessible to a wider audience.

As a teenager, Manual Jordan impulsively shot and killed Abner, the young clerk of a convenience store, a boy no older than himself. Manual has spent the last 23 years in his cell, staring with regret at the newspaper photo of his victim. Although Manual believes he deserves to remain in prison for his crime, he is suddenly and unexpectedly released into the world.

Wandering like a ghost in the neighborhood where he committed his crime, Manual finds a temporary home in a community center run by the enigmatic caretaker, Miles Evans, who preaches Christ to the bums, teenagers and young adults hanging around the area. Miles gets Manual to clean the center and make sure that the young adults partying at a nearby club come listen to Miles preach for 10 minutes, in return for letting them park their cars at the center.

At the center, Manual finds himself helping out one of the young women, Sofia, who keeps passing out at the club after an evening of drunken revelry. While helping Sofia find her own way, Manual seeks out Adele, the older sister of the boy he killed. He is unable, however, to confess his true identity to her, especially when their relationship deepens. When her teenage son becomes embroiled in his own cycle of violence, Manual thinks he may have found his last opportunity for redemption.

One of the central questions of LEVITY is whether any number of good acts can make up for one very bad act? According to the press notes, the director thinks he has left this question unanswered. The story appears to show, however, that, even though Manual does not explicitly come to Christ, he has had a change in attitude whereby he not only seeks forgiveness and redemption, he also places himself in situations where he can make some efforts at restitution, no matter how inadequate they may be. Manual, in fact, doesn't really find the beginning of peace until he learns a lesson of self-sacrifice - putting his life on the line for another human being. Thus, although Manual does not find Christian redemption through the work of Jesus Christ on the Cross, repentance and restitution (the other two sides of the salvation triangle) are part of his story in this movie.

Of course, the Bible tells us that our own good works cannot make up for the sinful nature which consumes us, only Christ's work on the cross can do that. Faith in Christ's sacrificial death not only should be accompanied by repentance, it also should coincide with a desire to do good works, out of gratitude for the Grace of God that works in us to produce our salvation.

All of the actors do a fine job in bringing this movie to life, but LEVITY would have been a better movie if its Christian elements were more fully developed. Also, although one of Manual's problems is that there is little levity in his life, hence, the movie's title. More humor would help counterbalance Manual's somber disposition. Finally, LEVITY suffers from an abundance of unnecessary foul language, including many "f" words. There is also an implied sex scene between Manual and Adele. The violence in the movie is restrained, however.

Please address your comments to:

Michael Barker, Tom Bernard & Marcie Bloom

Co-Presidents

Sony Pictures Classics

550 Madison Avenue, 8th Floor

New York, NY 10022

Phone: (212) 833-8833

Web Page: www.spe.sony.com

In Brief: