The Sessions 2012

The Sessions

Critics 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.

91%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 203

80%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 23,526

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Movie Info

Though a childhood bout with polio left him dependent on an iron lung, Mark O'Brien (John Hawkes) maintains a career as a journalist and poet. A writing assignment dealing with sex and the disabled piques Mark's curiosity, and he decides to investigate the possibility of experiencing sex himself. When his overtures toward a caregiver (Annika Marks) scare her away, he books an appointment with sex surrogate Cheryl Cohen Green (Helen Hunt) to lose his virginity.

Cast & Crew

John Hawkes
Mark O'Brien
William H. Macy
Father Brendan
Ben Lewin
Director
Ben Lewin
Screenwriter
Geoffrey Simpson
Cinematographer
Lisa Bromwell
Film Editor
Marco Beltrami
Original Music
John Mott
Production Design
Sofia Jimenez
Set Decoration
Justine Seymour
Costume Designer
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News & Interviews for The Sessions

Critic Reviews for The Sessions

All Critics (203) | Top Critics (65) | Fresh (185) | Rotten (18)

Audience Reviews for The Sessions

  • Dec 26, 2013
    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 M Super Reviewer
  • Sep 21, 2013
    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 Super Reviewer
  • Jul 13, 2013
    I thought this was ok. My husband liked it more than I did because he got to see Helen Hunt in the nude.
    Ida K Super Reviewer
  • Apr 28, 2013
    Plenty of nudity, and sex. Not usually my cup of tea. BUT, this was so tastefully done, and the story was so heartwarming, touching, and relatable that it didn't bother me. Excellent performance by Helen Hunt, and a story that is very real, and relevant, to us all in surprising ways.
    Cynthia S Super Reviewer

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