The Man Without Gravity (L’uomo senza gravità) comes from Italy. It uses magical realism to tell the story of a lonely outsider who struggles to be accepted and find happiness. There are spoilers ahead.
At its heart, The Man Without Gravity (L’uomo senza gravità) tells a story of love. Love of family, love of a best friend, love of a romantic partner. But that love is tested from the first moment of life, because the main character is unaffected by gravity. Without something to hold him down, he would simply float away.
Oscar is born to a single mom, Natalia (Michela Cescon). He floats. That bit of whimsy and magic is simply accepted as fact by his loving mother. They leave the hospital and go to live at the grandmother’s house. The grandmother Alina (Elena Cotta) is less accepting but just as loving.
Young Oscar (Pietro Pescara) is never allowed to leave the house or go to school. He watches Batman on TV and learns to read from his grandmother’s Bible.
His mother makes him a vest. She fills the pockets with weights. He learns to walk. His mother slowly begins taking him outside. She warns him to hide his secret from everyone.
One day Oscar is waiting outside a market for his mom. He bumps into Young Agata (Jennifer Brokshi). She’s presumptuous and bossy and insists he carry two heavy water bottles for her. He’s smitten instantly, and follows her knowing he shouldn’t leave his mother.
By the time they reach Agata’s house, the weights have been offloaded. When Agata takes her water, Oscar floats away and bumps into a balcony above him. She thinks he’s got a superpower! She runs inside and gets a pink backpack, loaded with weight. She gives it to him.
That pink backpack stayed with Oscar forever. It never wore out, it never got scuffed up. It held him down the rest of his life. Agata kept the secret for a long time. The children were allowed to play together, watch Batman, be friends. When Agata revealed Oscar’s secret, Natalia refused to let them play any more.
Skip ahead several years. Adult Oscar (Elio Germano) and his mother now live in a secluded mountain village. Oscar himself reveals his magical ability on a television show about exceptional men. He’s exploited by David (Vincent Scarito), who turns him into a freak show and keeps the money it generates.
Skip ahead several more years. Oscar escaped David’s clutches. He learned to tie himself down with a wheelchair, but he still has the pink backpack.
The adult Agata (Silvia D’Amico) finally reenters his life. She recognizes the pink backpack before she recognizes Oscar. The only person who ever accepted him for who he was, other than his family, is back in his life. They get off to a bumpy start, but luckily, love never dies in this tale.
The premise in The Man Without Gravity (L’uomo senza gravità) is a creative new way to tell the story of an outsider, someone who must hide who they are, someone who doesn’t fit the norm. The story is told with charm and love.
I want Oscar to be loved and accepted by everyone! I’ve given away quite a bit of the plot, but I won’t reveal the final twist. It’s too lovely to spoil.
Have a look at the trailer.
Have you seen this Italian gem? How did you feel about Oscar’s journey?