Concussion Screen 12 articles

Concussion

2013

Concussion Poster
  • Deadwood’s Weigert is never less than fascinating, opening up to chunky college students, mysterious power lunchers and one svelte gal she knows from her other life (Maggie Siff). But the ambitions of writer-director Stacie Passon’s plot feel too tame, revving up to a scene of shame rather than radical revision. The Kids Are All Right pushed similar material to more affecting ends.

  • ...That vagueness—of Kate, of her partnership with Abby—burdens Concussion, rendering most of it dully schematic and half-thought-out. Abby's drastic measure to give and receive pleasure is less implausible, in fact, than that she goes by "Mrs." and that she and Kate appear to have no gay friends—female or male—at all.

  • In the real world, Abby would simply have an affair, or a series of affairs, not transform herself overnight into somebody’s tastefully kinky notion of the ideal sex worker. Were this a Buñuelian exercise in subtle surrealism, that might not matter. In every other respect, however, Concussion is firmly grounded in reality, and that verisimilitude is what makes it intermittently shine.

  • Kate (Julie Fain Lawrence) hardly comes across as more than busy and blasé, her climactic line (“I don’t want anyone”) feeling unearned. Much of Ms. Passon’s dialogue, in fact, has sharp, knowing little twists that flag the ends of scenes that haven’t necessarily gotten anywhere. Abby’s risky connection with another mother from school (Maggie Siff) with a rich husband seems especially reliant on this obliqueness.

  • As the movie’s heroine, Robin Weigert wears a perpetually bemused half-smirk that lets the other characters (and the audience) know that she’s in control of the situation, but also distances her from the action, as though she were an observer of her own life... The closest the movie comes to overt eroticism is in the occasional moments when the camera lingers on Weigert’s sinewy back and shoulders; even then, it’s the eroticism of a body completely in control of itself.

  • First-time director Passon has sent Weigert out to bat for originality alone, lifting all other characters and scenarios from her repository of archetypes, with the LGBT spin providing the only unconventional element of an otherwise standard production. Abby's wife Kate is a Busy Lawyer, Abby's clients are Insecure Closet Cases, another bored suburban firecracker provides a vague outline of a Femme Fatale.

  • First-time writer-director Stacie Passon approaches the subject matter provocatively though never exploitatively, shooting the no-holds-barred sex scenes intimately, rather than with the sole aim of titillation.

  • The notion of watching someone finding liberation in prostitution, as well as the inevitable losing of one’s self as they tumble down a double-life rabbit hole, would be harder to swallow were it not for Weigert. Her contributions here can’t be underestimated, and she carries the full arc of this film—from harried housewife to hot-to-trot harlot to who-am-I-again? head case—on her toned shoulders.

  • The movie's true subject is a problem--the loss of passion--that can happen in any relationship, and Passon addresses it in a series of smart, funny and surprising ways. Key to this is the fearless performance of Weigert...

  • Given the speed with which these developments unfold, and the skill with which Abby is suddenly able to adopt a professional hooker persona, one would thinkConcussion would be gravely crippled by implausibility. But thanks to a career-best performance from Weigert, who's in full command of her character's malcontent, inner fire, and considerable sexiness, matters proceed with a surprising naturalism, as if propelled by nothing more than Abby's raging libido.

  • It was a treat watching the film because I actually didn't know what would happen next. How is that possible with such familiar material? The script is excellent, with some pretty sharp edges, but I credit mostly Robin Weigert, whose portrayal of Abby is one of the best performances of the year.

  • This ruthless, compassionate and ingeniously engineered portrait of upper-middle-class married life gone off the rails is one of the big American surprises of the year, and Stacie Passon is the real deal. Watch out for her, in every sense of the term.

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