Sundance review: "Concussion"
Published: January 22, 2013 07:56AM
Updated: January 21, 2013 02:32PM
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Julie Fain Lawrence (top) and Robin Weigert play a married lesbian couple in crisis in "Concussion," playing in the U.S. Dramatic competition of the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy Radius-TWC

"Concussion"

U.S. Dramatic

***1/2 (three-and-a-half stars)

There is a real concussion at the beginning of the antiseptically beautiful "Concussion," but it's also a metaphor that's no less jarring. When Abby (Robin Weigert), a suburban lesbian married to Kay (Julie Fain Lawrence), gets hit by a baseball thrown by one of their children, it sets off a need for change in her routine existence. She works on renovating a downtown loft with a contractor, Justin (Jonathan Tchaikowsky), who also pimps on the side -- and Abby decides to take female clients as a high-end hooker, using the professional name Eleanor. Writer-director Stacie Passon's sexually charged premise becomes a vehicle for an emotional exploration of a stagnant relationship and the struggle between desire and stability. Weigert (best known for her work on "Deadwood") gives a performance that's revelatory in more ways than one, as Abby sheds inhibitions and clothes. The slick look (by production designer Lisa Myers and art director Kevin P. O'Donnell) highlights the split between Abby's suburban oppression and her urban freedom.

-- Sean P. Means

"Concussion" screens again: Thursday, noon, Eccles Theatre, Park City; Friday, 6 p.m., Broadway Centre Cinemas 6, Salt Lake City; Saturday, 11:30 a.m., The MARC Theatre, Park City.