Melina Gunnett

October 25, 2012

Review – The Sessions

Filed under: Review — Tags: , , , , , , , , — Melina Gunnett @ 1:23 AM

The Sessions was a difficult film to watch. Not because it was bad, it was actually rather well done, but because of the subject matter. Sessions is a docudrama about Mark O’Brein, a writer and poet who contract polo at a young age and live most of his life in an iron lung. The film covers the last decade of his life.

O’Brein (John Hawkes) his hired to write an article on sex for the disabled. While doing research for the article he begins to wonder about the possibility of having sex himself. Deeply religious he consults his priest (William H. Macy) and eventually hires a sex surrogate (Helen Hunt) to help him explore his capabilities.

While the focus of the film is O’Brien’s sessions with his sexual surrogate, the film is also about his relationships with those around him. While O’Brien had almost no control over his muscles from the neck down and could only remain out of his iron lung for a few hours a day, he was still determined to live as full of a life as possible. He attended and graduated from college and continued to go out into the world on gurney with the aid of his caretakers.

It is through his interactions with these caretakers, his priest and his surrogate that we see glimpses of the wit and intelligence that made O’Brein such a good writer. Samples of his poetry are also interspersed through out the film, giving us an even deeper glimpse into the thoughts and emotions of the man trapped within his own body.

The film is handled tastefully, but it does center around sex and audiences should be prepared for a significant about of nudity.


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