The 25 Best Breakthrough Performances Of 2013


8. Robin Weigert – “Concussion”
Without Robin Weigert at its center, “Concussion” could have been an interesting if minor entry in a subgenre of films about sexual discovery. The drama is capably directed and well-written, but it’s Weigert’s performance that draws the audience deeper into the film. In the film’s early scenes, she’s equally adept at displaying brittle frustration and boredom in her existence as a wife and mother after an accident involving one of her children sends her to the hospital. In our first moments with her, we see her snap at the the kid responsible for her injury, but it’s a testament to the actress that we still like and want to engage with her character, Abby. From there, Abby is eager to explore sexuality beyond her relationship with her wife, and things get interesting as she embarks on a career as an escort. Her love scenes with various clients are sexy, but it’s not due to the skin shown; it’s Weigert’s portioning of equal parts vulnerability and strength that keep her lovers interested and the audience rapt. She feels like you could run into her at the grocery store, but it’s no less believable when she dominates clients. Though her face is familiar to TV and movie audiences (mostly due to her portrayal of Calamity Jane in HBO’s short-lived “Deadwood”), this is her biggest film role to date, and she’s deserving of all the attention—and more—that she’s earning for it.

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