The Sessions

  • 15
  • Ben Lewin (2012)
  • US
  • 90 min
Film Review
Reviewed By
3 out of 5

Writer and poet Mark O'Brien drew on his own sexual awakening to write the article on which this comedy drama is based. But what makes this rite of passage so different is that Mark (played here by John Hawkes) is severely disabled, and, at 38, fears he will never lose his virginity. A wicked sense of humour and the guidance of William H Macy's free-thinking priest carry him through the dark times, but Catholic guilt threatens to hold Mark back as he begins a course of therapy with sex surrogate Cheryl (Helen Hunt). Frustratingly, writer/director Ben Lewin glosses over most of the moral dilemmas in favour of a breezy self-help guide to gaining sexual confidence. It's only much later on that emotional complications arise, with Mark's inexperience making him susceptible to whims of the heart. Hunt gives a totally assured performance - often naked - but her character's businesslike approach to sex isn't exactly conducive to romance. Instead, it's Hawkes's portrayal, in all its wit, intelligence and childlike naivety, that really captures the heart.

Plot Summary

Writer Mark has survived polio, but still needs to use an iron lung. At the age of 38, he has begun a writing career but has never had sex. With the support of his parish priest, he enlists the help of a sex therapist in gaining the confidence to lose his virginity. Comedy drama, starring John Hawkes, Helen Hunt and William H Macy.

Cast and crew

Cast

Mark O'Brien
John Hawkes
Cheryl Cohen Greene
Helen Hunt
Father Brendan
William H Macy
Vera
Moon Bloodgood
Amanda
Annika Marks
Rod
W Earl Brown
Laura White
Blake Lindsley
Josh
Adam Arkin
Tony
Jarrod Bailey
Joan
Rusty Schwimmer
Matt
James Martinez

Crew

Director
Ben Lewin

Other Information

Language: 
English
Colour
Theatrical distributor: 
20th Century Fox
Guidance: 
Swearing, sexual references, sex scenes, nudity.
Available on DVD and BluRay
Released 18 Jan 2013
Certificate 15
Distributor:
Twentieth Century Fox Home Ent.
Categories
Comedy
Drama