Los Angeles Film Festival
Concussion (2013) begins with Abby (Robin Weigert) getting beaned by her son’s baseball. No permanent damage, but she’ll have a bandaged face for a while. The kids have two moms. In the world she and her spouse Kate (Julie Fain Lawrence) inhabit, equality is a given. They’re in their early forties and comfortably upper middle class, living in a New York suburb. The butch/femme paradigm of old no longer applies though lawyer Kate is logic based while Abby is an interior designer with a strong aesthetic who likes working with her hands.
She’s also bored. Taken out of her comfort zone by the accident, she hires a prostitute (Sarah Dubrovsky) who turns out to be “dirty” in the wrong way. Through Justin (Johnathan Tchaikovsky), her straight male assistant, an anonymous madam referred to as “The Girl” hooks her up. The session, with a long-haired, tattooed hard body (Kate Rogal), awakens something in her. Quicker than you can say “Mrs. Robinson,” Abby is turning tricks herself, every Wednesday morning. The apartment in town that she and Justin are remodeling for profit makes the perfect cover. The spare loft is transformed into the boudoir of “Eleanor,” a fantasy older woman for a rich, young clientele.
As the festival’s artistic director David Anson pointed out, it’s a remarkably self-assured debut for writer/director Stacie Passon. With cinematographer David Kruta, she captures the intimacy and eroticism of the bedroom scenes. Weigert, best known for Sons of Anarchy (2010-2012), gives a performance that’s committed and courageous, while looking hotter than hell.
Just as Abby appears to be having her cake and eating it too, trouble arrives in the form of Sam (Maggie Siff), a new client with a thing for “hard kissing” and other rough stuff, whom she knows slightly. Will Sam slip up and reveal their activities? And what if they find out at the synagogue and the P.T.A.?