The Sessions

2012

The Sessions (2012)

TOMATOMETER

Critic Consensus: Tender, funny, and touching, The Sessions provides an acting showcase for its talented stars and proves it's possible for Hollywood to produce a grown-up movie about sex.

AUDIENCE SCORE


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Movie Info

Based on the poignantly optimistic autobiographical writings of California-based journalist and poet Mark O'Brien, The Sessions tells the story of a man confined to an iron lung who is determined - at age 38 - to lose his virginity. With the help of his therapists and the guidance of his priest, he sets out to make his dream a reality. -- (C) Fox Searchlight

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Critic Reviews for The Sessions

All Critics (197) | Top Critics (48)

Lewin, who has fought his own lifelong polio battle, handles tricky material with a gentle, empathetic touch.

Jan 15, 2013 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
Time Out
Top Critic

Thanks to Lewin's light but assured touch, The Sessions never wears its theological preoccupations heavily, instead allowing transcendence to creep up on the audience quietly.

Jan 8, 2013 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

A very different kind of love story, breaking taboos lightly, with sensitivity and humor.

Jan 4, 2013 | Full Review…
CNN.com
Top Critic

Achieves its sunny disposition by pulling punches.

Nov 23, 2012 | Rating: 5.8/10 | Full Review…

A funny, tender and mostly unsentimentalized movie about physical and emotional triumph.

Nov 8, 2012 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
Newsday
Top Critic

An absolute delight.

Nov 2, 2012 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…
Detroit News
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for The Sessions

½

Despite its unnecessary ending with a completely out-of-place narration, this is a touching drama centered on three-dimensional characters and two wonderful performances by Hawkes and Hunt, who deserve both a million awards for their profoundly sensitive compositions.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

"The Sessions" is an engrossing drama about sex with amazingly fearless performances from John Hawkes and Helen Hunt, in a career-best performance.

Tony Gandía
Tony Gandía

Super Reviewer

Surprisingly good. Really expected this to be worthy and a bit of a yawner, but it's actually quite funny and sweet as well as sad. Performances are perfect.

Nicki Marie
Nicki Marie

Super Reviewer

½

If there's a film that you haven't yet seen from last year's Oscar nominations, this is the next one for you. Heartbreaking, touching, very funny, and educational in many respects, "The Sessions" is a film that speaks about the lives of those with disabilities, and their role in the continuum of human experience. Based on the life of polio survivor and poet Mark O'Brien, the inspiration came from an article O'Brien wrote about his experiences with sex surrogate Cheryl Cohen-Greene and how it affected him for the rest of his life. An unexpectedly short and sweet kind of film, it would have been easy for director and screenwriter Ben Lewin to embellish the story to involve a deeper and more complicated relationship between the two. Instead it details how sex surrogates work through patient's dilemmas, how they remain professional throughout their tenure, and the good they can do, especially for those who suffer through severe disabilities, such as Mark O'Brien. The story remains accurate and poignant, driving home the point that we all can love, no matter how we look to the rest of society. That and it's the cutest story to feature a woman having sex for money since "Pretty Woman" though without the thigh high boots and blonde wig. John Hawkes blew me away as Mark O'Brien, a role that seems to have been tailor made for the character actor. He even went as far as shifting his internal organs with a foam pillow in order to recreate the curvature of O'Brien's spine, and became intrigued by the source material enough to read through all of O'Brien's works. The relationship between them is fairly touching, and for sure never borders on lustful, inappropriate, or misplaced within the narrative of the story. It's simply a sweet little story that doesn't surprise and doesn't nudge controversy. It was really surprising when Helen Hunt got a nomination for Best Supporting Actress since her part is a bit subdued, but thank goodness she did so this film got the proper bump it deserved.

Spencer S.
Spencer S.

Super Reviewer

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