Concussion focuses on an important topic. But is it the movie people want to see on Christmas Day? Perhaps it will pull in NFL fans, and it could garner a few Oscar nominations. But this is not the feel good family movie you and your family will want to sit and enjoy this holiday season. As the second trailer teases, Concussion is going to weigh heavily on your brain. This drama stars Will Smith and is based on a true story that delves into NFL brain trauma.
Will Smith plays Dr. Bennet Omalu, the forensic neuropathologist who made the first discovery of CTE (Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy) and fought for the truth to be known. Concussion is based on the David vs. Goliath journey of Dr. Omalu, who treats the football-related brain trauma of a pro player while fighting to bring awareness to the public. In his search for the truth behind the devastating malady, Omalu's quest humanizes the price paid by professional athletes in impact sports but also by people who challenge the status quo as it exposes the political, cultural and corporate interests that fuel the business of sports.
Will Smith is joined in Concussion by a stellar ensemble cast. Joining him are stars Alec Baldwin, Luke Wilson, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Arliss Howard, Paul Reiser, David Morse and Albert Brooks. Peter Landesman, probably best known for Kill the Messenger and Parkland, writes and directs the movie, which is partially based on the GQ article "Game Brain," written by Jeanne Marie Laskas. Ridley Scott produces alongside Giannina Facio, David Wolthoff, Larry Shuman and Elizabeth Cantillon. David Crockett and Michael Schaefer are executive producers. Peter Landesman has a production team that includes director of photography Salvatore Totino, production designer David Crank, Academy Award-winning editor William Goldenberg, and costume designer Dayna Pink.
Dr. Bennet Omalu conducted the autopsy for several deceased Steelers players, including Hall of Fame center Mike Webster. This helped him discover the existence of specific brain trauma caused on the field. The movie sets out to show how the doctor has played an important role in convincing the NFL that football is hazardous to the head. Though, as we'll learn, the football establishment has little interest in promoting the works of Dr. Bennet Omalu.
The story of Concussion is something that definitely should be discussed, and you can expect to hear more about it as we move closer to opening day. Concussion is entering an extremely crowded Christmas marketplace, which comes just one week after the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. It will have to contended with the family sequel Alvin and The Chipmunks: The Road Chip, Quentin Tarantino's new Westren The Hateful Eight, Jennifer Lawrence's Miracle Mop biopic Joy, Leonardo DiCaprio's period survival thriller The Revenant, Daddy's Home, a comedy that reunites Mark Wahlberg and Will Ferrell, Oliver Stone's Snowden biopic and the Point Break remake. Will Concussion be heard above all that noise? We'll have to wait and see, but from the trailer, it appears to be an early Oscar contender. Take a look at this latest sneak peek at Will Smith's Concussion. Are you buying that accent?