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| 25 October 2012 | Reply

Written & Directed by Ben Lewin
Starring John Hawkes, Helen Hunt and William H Macy
In cinemas in Australia 8 November 2012

John Hawkes (Deadwood, Eastbound & Down) delivers a rivetingly believable performance as polio sufferer Mark O’Brien in this true story about the poet/journalist who could only spend a few hours a day out of an iron lung after becoming crippled from the disease as a child.

At the age of 38, unable to move anything apart from his head, but with an incredibly sharp mind and a fully functioning libido – not to mention an overactive amount of shildhood repression and Catholic guilt – O’Brien was asked to write an article on sex and the disabled, piquing both his curiosity and anxieties.

It’s his brave exploration of his own sexuality in the quest for some kind of independence and humanity that is at the heart of this tender and touching film.

William H Macy as O’Brien’s priest Father Brendan, and Helen Hunt as sex therapist/surrogate Cheryl Cohen-Greene turn in fantastically nuanced performances as their characters embark on their own journeys of discovery alongside O’Brien, and you should expect to see one or all three in this year’s Academy Award nominations.

With a host of marvellous supporting performances in the more minor roles, Ben Lewin – himself a polio sufferer – reveals the tale of this fascinating man seeing to lose his virginity is about far, far more than merely sex.

By turns heartwarming, uplifting, funny, sad and above all, human, The Sessions is about a clever, witty, nice guy whose life was touched by tragedy, but who tried so hard to make things more human for himself.

Category: Movie & Theatre Reviews

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