Comments on watching and making films.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

The Sessions

The Sessions is a rare and amazing film that I think too few people will get a chance to experience in the theater, either because it's not available where they are, or they are too shy to go see it because of its subject matter. The story centers around poet and journalist Mark O'Brien (played by John Hawkes), who has a disfunction that has robbed him of the use of his muscles and keeps him in an Iron Lung most of the time. After doing a story on sex and the handicapped, Mark decides that he wants to try and have sex, to see if it is something he can do and enjoy. With the blessing of his confidant, Father Brendan (William H. Macy), he hires a sex surrogate, Cheryl, played by Helen Hunt.

The Sessions approaches its subject matter with a certain dignity and respectful nature, being sure to simply tell the story how it is, and not try and stoke the audience into feeling sorry for O'Brien. I think that is one of the things I liked most about it - They never went for any kind of cheap sympathy, or tried to make you cry, director Ben Lewin simply told the story of a man seeking help to feel whole, while still trying to stay connected to, and honor, the traditions he holds dear.

I really enjoyed this film, and I really hope people take a chance to see it. It really is something special.

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