"The Sessions" Movie Review
The Sessions will disappoint you if you are looking for porn or something kinky. The movie is about a 38 year old man, played by John Hawkes, who has lived in an iron lung since he had polio as a child, and his sex therapist, Helen Hunt, who helps him experience sex for the first time. (Hunt's character is a quite different type of sex therapist from Steve Carrell who assisted Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones in Hope Springs.)
The movie is based on a newspaper account by Mark O'Brien, a disabled Berkeley, California, poet and reporter, about his assignment to interview disabled people about their sex lives and his own experience with a sexual surrogate therapist. O'Brien was a devout Catholic who is befriended and advised by his parish priest played by William H. Macy. Macy is perplexed when Hawkes seeks his permission to seek sex therapy from Helen Hunt, but he ultimately tells Hawkes to "Go for it!" After each of the maximum limit of six sessions with Helen Hunt, Hawkes recounts his experience to his priest. These sessions provide a humorous and sensitive counter-balance to the more serious sessions with Helen Hunt. Hawkes, Hunt and Macy were all superb as were the three other women in Hawkes life, played ably and sensitively by Moon Bloodgood, Annika Marks and Rhea Perlman.
I hadn't seen Helen Hunt since "As Good as It Gets" and hardly remembered what a beautiful and talented actress she is. She looks great at age 49, but I'm sure the role which required complete nudity and intimate sexual scenes was quite a challenge for her. The brief therapy scenes were played by Hunt and Hawkes convincingly and with complete good taste and tenderness as well as a bit of humor.
The movie was based on an article by Mark O'Brien entitled "On Seeing a Sex Surrogate."
It was written and directed by Mark Lewin.
10-19-12NYTimes--James Holden Review of "The Sessions"
- ‘The Sessions,’ With John Hawkes and Helen Hunt - NYTimes.com
“The Sessions” is a touching, profoundly sex-positive film that equates sex with intimacy.
10-26-12SanJoseMercuryNews "The Sessions Makes a Case for an Oscar" Karen D'Sousa
- Review: 'The Sessions' makes case for Oscar - San Jose Mercury News
You may never forget the time you spend with "The Sessions." This is a breathtakingly understated film, so tender and genuine in its exploration of disability, mortality and intimacy that you scarcely notice how deftly it breaks your heart.
"Hope Springs" Review
- Hope Springs Review
"Hope Springs" is a story audiences can relate to. Meryl Streep, Tommy Lee Jones, and Steve Carell all give excellent performances in this film about a couple who struggles to reignite the romance in their marriage.