'Concussion' is a sexy, provocative story about a woman who turns her fantasy life into reality - and then faces the consequences. Abby (Robin Weigert) is a wealthy, 40-something lesbian wife and mother. Frustrated by her suburban existence, and by her wife Kate's lack of sexual passion, she begins to yearn for something more. As her pent-up libido draws her into a double life as a high-class hooker for female clients, Abby shakes off her inhibitions and rediscovers her capacity for pleasure. But when her decisions become increasingly reckless, we realise that she won't be able to keep her secret for long. Writer-director Passon's accomplished debut mixes sensuality and poignancy, and explores the idea of sexual discovery as a means of finding your true inner self.
Concussion is an unconventional film, not only because of its very limited setting but also because it never villainizes a woman who does some pretty disturbed things. The film never really feels like it is about her at all but the choices we make that lead us into corners, into places that we feel we can’t get out of until something strikes us out of position and onto another path entirely.
Concussion follows Abby (Robin Weigert), a wife and mother who is trapped in a life she has no control over but must stay in because she is the stable one, the family member who is always reliable and dependable. When she is struck over the head she finds herself wondering who she really is and who she wants to be leading her to rediscover herself in the only way she knows how, by becoming someone else entirely, Eleanor.
While people may be quick to label Concussion as a film about sexual awakening and the prospect of a new way of looking at love and life the film never once makes that assessment, it sees its character as a work in progress on many levels instead of just the simplistic. Abby may well be shy and afraid of moving forward in fear of ruining what came before but Eleanor is different, she takes risks but still holds on to enough of Abby to ensure that the changes feel real and emotional.
Weigert is fantastic and she is joined by an equally impressive Maggie Siff. She manages to make Abby almost empty in a way while still infusing her with the kind of kindness and motherly characteristics everyone else sees in her but she doesn’t see herself. The film can take some odd turns but thats all in the light of a woman who doesn’t quite understand the finer elements of life as she has avoided it for most of her life