Film Review: ‘Weightless’

Alessandro Nivola looks like a conventionally handsome leading man, but has largely had the career of a character actor so far — something that may factor in his being relatively under-sung for an impressive screen résumé stretching back two decades now. That, and the fact that he’s often most effective as the quiet, watchful center around which more histrionic characters revolve (whether they know it or not) in indies such as “Junebug” and the recent “Disobedience.” They’re not the types of performances that typically attract awards, yet those films would lose much of their impact without the subtle gravitas he contributes.

Nivola is just about able to pull off the same trick as the central figure in “Weightless.” But Canadian music-video and commercials veteran Jaron Albertin’s U.S.-produced first feature proves unfortunately named — despite the emotional terra firma Nivola and other cast members try to provide, this drama about a taciturn loner forced into single-parenthood drifts into the ozone.

More interested in aesthetic texturing than anything else, the film shows signs of an interesting sensibility, and has some effective, atmospheric moments. Yet it obfuscates a relatively simple tale in ways that aren’t enigmatic so much as evidence of a grasp on storytelling somewhere between the unconcerned and oblivious.