Best Movies by Farr
The Sessions Poster
Released Runtime Category
2012 95 Drama
Director Language
Ben Lewin English
Helen Hunt, John Hawkes, Moon Bloodgood, William H. Macy, Robin Weigert

The Sessions

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What's it About

Mark O’Brien (Hawkes) has been in an iron lung since the age of six when he was afflicted with polio. Now at 38, he wishes to lose his virginity. With the blessing of his local priest (Macy) and the help of his caregiver (Bloodgood), he employs the services of professional sex surrogate Cheryl (Hunt). As the two gradually work towards an attempt at intercourse, a strong bond develops; Cheryl witnesses Mark getting in touch not only with his physical self, but also a host of emotions that have lain dormant for many, many years. 

Why we love it

In this true story, Hawkes (“Winter’s Bone”) gives a powerhouse turn as a man looking for intimacy despite a broken body; his performance is a remarkable emotional and physical feat. Hunt matches him with strength, tenderness and humor. Despite being nude for a number of scenes, she manages to deflect our attention to Cheryl’s empathy and intelligence. It’s no wonder she was Oscar-nominated for this. Director Lewin executes a seamless balance of comedy and pathos, working from a script he adapted from O’Brien’s own article. As you’d expect, Macy is also wonderful in this warm and touching Sundance winner. Attend these “Sessions”!

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The Set-Up

BEST MOVIES BY FARR is your personal guide to great movies to rent, stream, or buy; to watch at home or on-the-go. Led by film advocate John Farr, the Best Movies by Farr team works as a "quality filter" for the discerning moviegoer. Every day, we bring you the best of the best, the fantastic familiar films and hidden gems, to answer that age-old question: "What should we watch tonight?"