FRIDAY, OCTOBER 26, 2018 -- The humiliation of being the really fat kid in town is the premise of Jaron Albertin's touching drama set in Nowheresville, New York. An unknown town so bleak, the main industry is smashing mountains of trash. A town existing in the margins with a population living on the edge of the margins and a parent whose main job is to crush and smash this mountain of garbage.


We meet Joel (Alessandro Nivola) losing his mind, with good reason; he's the guy smashing the trash...and he's the underling of a company run by Ed (Johnny Knoxville).The idea of success in this town is simple having a job. The concept of big time success comes in the form of buying a small speedboat. The concept of a meaningful relationship is like what Janeece (Julianne Nicholson) has with Joel - she loves him even though he smells like garbage.

Joel and Janeece's non-idyllic life in the margins get disrupted when Joel is forced to take custody of his never-before-seen son Will (Eli Haley) that he had with an estranged crackhead, lunatic of a wife - who we never see. But as any good whacked out mother she dumps the kid first on Joel's countrified mother-in-law (Siobhan Fallon Hogan), who in-turn dumps the kid on Joel. Her natural claim is that the boy is his responsibility. Nice!


Joel is ill-prepared to take care of a boy, let along one who is extremely introverted to the point he doesn't talk to anybody; mainly due to he very low self-esteem. He is, the definitive "fat kid" in town. School, is really not an option because he has receded into himself to the point he only sits outside with a paper bag over his face. Is only friend comes in the form of young Carla (Phoebe Young) who see beyond his weight and befriends him while he sits at home waiting for his forced upon father to return from work.


The whole living situation is being monitored by Dr Mcleod (K. Todd Freeman) who knows that Joel is incapable of raising a ten-year old boy with personal issues as well as diabetes. Mcleod wants to move the boy into a foster home. Joel seemingly could care less and Janeece has become emotionally attached to the pity of Will, but not necessarily Will.


It is an interesting examination of a boy, a father, and a town on the fringe of despair. There is some sort of redemption to be sought and nobody seems to be up to the job. Trapped in the mess is a kid stuck in the mire of nonchalance. Well cast and well filmed, it's almost amazing that Albertin was able to find such a location as bleak. Nivola and Nicholson play well off each other in a game of who gives a dam less. Knoxville is so subdued he is almost meaningless except he sets the tone of the entire town.


Haley wears his role well, so well you almost buy into his invisible man routine until his character is brought out by the neighbor girl.


"Weightless" achieves its goal of taking us into the underbelly of a marginalized town filled with meaningless people all seeking their own version of redemption for living in such a worthless town.   -- GRADE B- --   GEOFF BURTON