Concussion ★★★½

The feature-length writing/directing debut from Stacie Passon, Concussion, plays like a marriage between Belle De Jour and High Art, while at the same time applying its own tone and voice. Although I didn't love this film, I have a high amount of admiration for what Passon is doing with it. The lesbian themes are never treated as something shocking or different, and this makes the central characters very human and believable rather than disrespected pawns.

Complementing Passon's sleek vision behind the camera is a surprisingly effective ensemble cast, which all starts with the relatively unknown Robin Weigert as the main character. Make no mistake about it, this is one of the more difficult central roles I've seen in independent cinema all year, and she proves to be more than capable at making it work. That was the area I was most doubting this film going in, the acting, yet nearly every single performance in Concussion finds the right notes.

Passon is clearly taking it upon herself to add a significant voice among lesbian filmmakers, with a focus on creating more grounded, human relationship dramas, just like we all go through. She had delivered a fine debut, a damn-near great one, and I'm sure she will only get better from here.