CONCUSSION (2015)

This excellent film directed and written by Peter Landesman features an excellent performance from Will Smith which will be certainly not be forgotten at the Academy Award nominations and will be looked on as a career high point. This is a biographical sports medical drama based on a GQ article Game Brain by Jeanne Marie Laskas and details the efforts of a forensic pathologist named Dr. Bennet Omalu to explain why so many professional football players were suffering brain damage and his efforts to make his research known much to the chagrin of the National Football League. It should be pointed out that neither Roger Goodell (the head of the NFL) or the League come off well in this film as it rightly should be. I should dare to point out that when the film is over, this should cause the mothers and fathers of America to seriously consider whether or not to allow their sons to play this most violent game or run of the risk of their child suffering permanent brain damage. This is in many ways a David and Goliath type of story and since it actually happened makes the telling all the more powerful. Football players have become the equivalent of the Roman gladiators risking life and limb for the precarious pleasures of the American public and though I don’t think the film is anti-football it certainly makes a point that there needs to be serious changes as to how the game is played. Excellent support is provided by an extraordinary cast including Albert Brooks, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Alec Baldwin and David Morse.


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