Movie review: The Sessions (+trailer)


There's an emotional depth to Mark O'Brien's story that is captivating.


O'Brien (John Hawkes), paralysed from the neck down after a childhood bout of polio, was an inspirational character in California in the 70s and 80s who wasn't going to be slowed down by his disability.

Despite being confined to an iron lung for most of his day, he studied at the University of California at Berkeley and received a bachelor's degree in English literature.

His love of writing and poetry defined his being.

But when O'Brien was 38, he decided that he didn't want to go through life not having experienced sexual intimacy with a woman.

The Sessions tracks the emotional journey he made with the help of his priest, Father Brendan (William H. Macy), and his sex surrogate, Cheryl (Helen Hunt).

Father Brendan's initial shock at what he is hearing is soon replaced by a deep understanding of Mark's turmoil.

Although Mark has severe physical limitations, he doesn't lack the ability to make an impression on women, particularly his carers.

And Cheryl is not immune to his charms either.

Married with a child, Cheryl is a therapist with a special ability to help those in need.

In surely her most challenging performance, Hunt lays herself bare in front of the camera and totally embraces her role.

The Sessions has a rare combination of a compelling story with performances of true class.

The three stars deliver on the story of a remarkable man.


The Sessions

(M) 94 minutes


Rating: 4 5


 

- Hamilton News

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