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The concept of a sin-eater originated in mediaeval times. If you had been excommunicated by the church and you wanted to die absolved of your sins you sent for a sin-eater who ritually absorbed them. This idea fascinated filmmaker Brian Helgeland. What if a sin-eater existed in contemporary times? Heath Ledger plays Alex, a renegade priest in New York, conducting the mass in Latin when he learns of the death of his mentor Dominic, Francesco Carnelutti, in Rome. Dominic had been driven from the church for unorthodox practices. Cardinal Driscoll, Peter Weller, sends Alex to Rome to investigate. Along for the ride is Mara, Shannyn Sossamon, who had been exorcised of demons by Alex and subsequently fallen in love with him. We'll forget for the moment that she's an escapee from a mental asylum for having attempted to kill Alex a year ago. In Rome Alex teams up with buddy priest Thomas, Mark Addy, to track down the sin-eater of the title, played by Benno Furmann. The plot is so idiotic with large gaping holes in it that you have to pinch yourself to remember that Brian Helgeland was the Oscar-winning writer of LA Confidential. He seems to have trouble disengaging himself from the cast of his previous effort A Knight's Tale, a film that also starred Heath Ledger, Shannyn Sossamon and Mark Addy. But despite the fact that The Sin Eater, titled The Order in the States, is certainly B-grade fodder I found myself quite enjoying it. There's an endearing quality to all three stars as well as Benno Furmann and Peter Weller stoically taking their ludicrous roles seriously. An added bonus is that Helgeland shot the film in Italy with Rome featuring beautifully. And I'm a bit of a sucker for tales of arcane Catholicism.