Monday, November 5, 2012

The Sessions

Afflicted with polio at a young age, completely disabled from the neck down, and dependent on an iron lung, 38-year-old, Berkeley based journalist Mark O'Brien (John Hawkes) decides that it is high time for him to lose his virginity, the prospect of which triggers a deep rooted fear. With the guidance of his parish priest (William H. Macy), Mark hires a sex surrogate (Helen Hunt)--which is explained as being very different from a prostitute--for a series of no more than six instructional sessions. From O'Brien's own published papers, Ben Lewin's "The Sessions" is an incredibly poignant, and never mawkish human comedy that lovingly approaches its characters and its offbeat subject. Having been building a reputation as a reliable character actor in recent years, Hawkes delivers an incredible, fully fledged, award caliber performance and is given equally stellar support from Hunt and Macy.