Alex Bernier (Ledger) is a member of an arcane order of priests known as Carolingians. When the head of the order dies, Alex is sent to Rome to investigate mysterious circumstances surrounding the death. The body bears strange marks on the chest which may or may not be the sign of a Sin Eater (Furmann), a renegade who offers absolution, last rites and therefore a path to heaven outside the jurisdiction of the church. Alex enlists the aid of his old comrade Father Thomas (Addy) and of a troubled artist (Sossamon) upon whom he once performed an exorcism. He soon finds himself plunged into a mystery only to find himself at the heart of it. —IMDb
Brian Thomas Helgeland (born January 17, 1961) is an American screenwriter, film producer and director. He is most known for writing the screenplays for L.A. Confidential (for which he received an Academy Award), Mystic River, and A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master.
Helgeland was born in Providence, Rhode Island, the son of Norwegian-born parents Karin and Thomas.His surname is Norwegian, named after a landscape in Northern Norway. A graduate of Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, he received his undergraduate degree at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth.
In 1998, Helgeland won both an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay (for L.A. Confidential) and a Razzie (for The Postman) in the same year. Only one person had achieved the dubious feat before (Alan Menken in 1993), and only one other (Sandra Bullock in 2010) has achieved it since. He accepted the Razzie and became only the fourth person in its history to be personally presented with the… read more
I remember reading "The Sin Eater" as a kid. It horrified me and remained one of my favorites. So, the idea of Heath becoming a sin eater was interesting. Pretty good - the second half is better. Shannon Sossamon is lovely, but I do love gazing at and listening to Ledger.; So sad. He was to become brilliant.
I was really not digging this film for the first half or so. It seemed unfocused and absurd. But in the second half the meaning of it became more apparent and it got much better. It's actually quite a subversive film in the end; very damning of religion and moral authority figures. It brings up many interesting ideas about the relationship between guilt, absolution, power, and corruption.