A 9.2 N.Y. Times story by Ken Belson presents a fairly clear case that Peter Landesman‘s Concussion (Sony, 12.25) isn’t quite the blistering, truth-telling whistleblower drama presented in the just-released trailer.
The forthcoming film dramatizes the true-life saga of Dr. Bennet Omalu (Will Smith), the forensic pathologist who discovered chronic traumatic encephalopathy or CTE — a then-new disease affecting football players — back in ’02, and how the NFL made his life hell as a result. Belson’s story, which relies on Sony hack e-mails, indicates that Sony execs felt it would be less troublesome from an N.F.L. standpoint to sand off some of the film’s edges.
The title of Belson’s piece, “Sony Altered ‘Concussion’ Film to Prevent N.F.L. Protests, Emails Show,” says it neatly.
Concussion doesn’t open for another four months but whatever the final impressions may be, the film has definitely taken a hit in terms of its integrity. However fair or unfair, perceptions are everything. I don’t know if anyone was thinking all that strongly about Concussion as a 2015 Best Picture contender, but anyone who had thoughts along those lines is probably re-assessing them to some extent.