Saturday, October 20, 2012

The Sessions

The Sessions is a very special film about acceptance and love that was the Audience Award winner at the Sundance Film Festival this year.

Based on a true story, John Hawkes plays poet and journalist Mark O’Brien, a man who has spent most of his life in an iron lung and is only able to out of for short periods each day.  Possessed of a brilliant mind, he decides to write an article on sexual practices among disabled people.

A devout Catholic, Mark wants to use this article as an opportunity for him to experience sex himself and he seeks the counsel of a priest named Father Brendan (William Macy) as to the ethics of his desire.  In an expression of true humanity, Fr. Brendan says he should “go for it.” 


That’s all you need to know, except for the fact that Helen Hunt gives an award-worthy performance as a sex-surrogate with whom he, ultimately, works.  Hunt shows she is a true actress, i.e., one who will play the character and not worry about her “image.”  Kudos to her and Moon Bloodgood, who plays O’Brien’s nursemaid.


Hawkes and Hunt, especially, deserve a 5 for their performances and this film would deserve a 5 if not for three egregious incidents of “Romnesia” with regard to numbers, two of which are important plot points.  (I’ll point them out to any viewers, who pose the question in the “comments” option of this blog. But, I’m hoping you will spot them yourselves.)  One incident I might let slip by, but, when one falls in love with this sweet story, one hates any such obvious imperfections on the part of the director/screenwriter.  Especially, when they could have been easily corrected.

 As it is, I give The Sessions a 4+ out of 5. 

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