Concussion (2013)


Director: Stacie Passon. 93 Films/Razor Wire.


1star - Awful give this one a miss


Cast and credits

Producer: Rose Troch
Writer: Stacie Passon.
Camera: David Kruts.
Music: Barb Morrison.
Sets: Lisa Myers.

Robin Weigert, Julie Fain Lawrence, Janel Moloney, Funda Duval, Claudine Ohayon, Maggie Siff, Johnathan Tchaikovsky. 


After suffering a serious blow to the head, middle-class Abby (Weigert) decides she can no longer go on with her sexless marriage to Kate (Lawrence), picking up the kids from school and renovating houses for a career. So, with the help of her handy-man (Tchaikovsky) she decides to become Eleanor – a high class lesbian escort to discerning Manhattanites.


Seeing Concussion must count as the one and only time I have been massively, almost comprehensively, disappointed by a movie I have traveled to see at the cinema.

Perhaps not the only time – the first Hobbit film was pretty banal despite the eye-popping visuals – but at least it was what I expected it to be, all CGI mouth and no trousers.

My Concussion coma might therefore have more to do with me, my personality, previous experiences and own tastes rather than Passon’s admittedly broad-minded venture – but that is for a separate conversation (blog post on this to follow, so stay tuned!), here I will just chat about the merits (or lack of, therein) I saw in the film.

Ultimately, this is a disappointing erotic drama, a sexless hodge-podge of unrealised potential and aggravating, egg-shell-avoiding intimacy.

And colour scheme discussions – ENDLESS colour scheme discussions!

I freely admit to walking into this film with the wrong head on, but I wasn’t the only one. A lesbian couple sat a few rows behind me and were clearly up for some horny fun on the screen. When the BBFC classification notice came up saying that there would be scenes of ‘Strong sex’, they loudly heckled ‘As opposed to weak sex?!’

How ironic this cry would turn out to be as the sex that transpired, if one could call it that, was as flaccid as you could get, all kissing, longing stares and no real rumpy pumpy at all.

For a film that, at least based on the trailer and review, aimed for shock value, it elicited nothing but a bored stillness in the auditorium. Friends of mine who viewed the film with me craned their necks as if searching for interest in the proceedings. Perhaps they were catatonic, transfixed by how little raciness it is possible to put into a film. I gave up the ghost and gasped in exasperation at the lack of action.

There was no need to ask our lesbian film fans ‘Ladies? Was it good for you?’ as they seemed non-plussed as the closing credits rolled, the raucousness in them having evaporated.

The endless talk about paint colours, fabrics and (heaven help us!) rap around porches (?!)  torpedoes what little emotion there is and sinks the whole thing. Seen in this light, the clinical grey and silver of the apartment Weigert renovates to host her customers perfectly complements not only the sterility of her emotional life, but also the feel of the film.

It could have easily scraped in with a 12a, maybe a PG with a small amount of judicious editing, though this could be the analysis of a sex obsessed male’s mind and a male who has little understanding of the real mechanics of lesbian love.

It could also be that this is life post-40, for lesbians and hetero’s, nice wine in the evening with friends as you talk about the good ole, hedonistic days of clubbing before you march down to B&Q to look at sheds and pick out paving slabs.

Passon is to be applauded for at least putting her thing out there onto mainstream cinema screens (I saw this at the Covent Garden Odeon), there are some clever touches (the musically named Tchaikovsky as Weigert’s cute handyman who sets himself up as her pimp, Weigert’s clients are an interesting bunch of neurotics, virgins and married, horned-up heteros) and the performances are of a good standard all around. It just needed some ‘ooh la la’ about doing the dirty rather than ‘blah blah blah’ about deciding on the decor.


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