Concussion - Robin Weigert as Abby

A wealthy bored housewife leads a double life as a high-class hooker in this 21st-century updating of Belle de Jour, which gives Luis Buñuel’s 1967 classic the twist of making the wife one half of a lesbian couple and her clients exclusively women.

In the original film, a glacial Catherine Deneuve turned to prostitution out of ennui; in writer-director Stacie Passon’s new film, Concussion, Robin Weigert’s far more warm-blooded Abby is motivated by pent-up sexual frustration as well as by the need to escape her stifling suburban life.

A blow to the head from a baseball thrown by her young son knocks Abby out of her pampered stupor and prompts her to seek fulfilment outside the home she shares with her high-achieving divorce-lawyer partner Kate (Julie Fain Lawrence) and their two children.

Concussion

First she throws herself into the project of doing up a Manhattan loft apartment; then, having called on the services of a call-girl herself, starts using this by now elegant pad as a space to entertain clients of her own. In the afternoons, naturally, before the return home in time for the school run.

Abby’s new pursuit would appear wildly implausible, but Weigert, best known for her role as Deadwood’s drunk and disorderly Calamity Jane, makes it seem perfectly natural, conveying Abby’s restless longings and wry curiosity, the sense that she is exploring her identity as much as fulfilling her desires.

Passon, hitherto a director of commercials, charts Abby’s messy emotional journey with a deft touch, while casting a lightly satirical eye on the suburban moms at their spinning and yoga classes and giving the sex scenes a sensuality that never slips into titillation.

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Certificate 15. Runtime 96 mins. Director Stacie Passon.

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