A 42-year-old, arty property developer Abby (Robin Weigert) lives in leafy New Jersey with her wife and children. After a knock to the head she feels Belle de Jour-ishly liberated – and compelled to work as a lesbian prostitute, meeting her clients at the New York loft she is renovating. This location is key to the tone of Concussion, which feels as strangely interested in cushions in heritage shades of putty as it is in Abby’s encounters. One is never sure if the director (newcomer Stacie Passon) is softening and simplifying Abby’s behaviour out of modesty and to avoid stirring the audience, or in fact offering the movie as a form of subtle and quite witty second-home porn. I’m still on the fence, although deciding it’s the latter is a fun game to play when watching.
There is something very droll about the way Abby, in (always tasteful) flagrante delicto, is evidently not just thinking about every aspect of her (always tasteful) tiling, but enjoying it too. Middle-class, very self-consciously egalitarian New Jersey is lucidly captured, especially the mildly daring dinner parties. When the helplessly liberal Abby lends one of her young clients a copy of The Second Sex and a biog of Gandhi, with a frown that comes dangerously close to self-caricature, I hooted.