When it comes to the Oscars, it’s pretty easy to tell award hounds apart from legitimate films with honourable intentions. The Sessions is part of the former, a fully nude Helen Hunt is pretty much the giveaway…but that doesn’t make it a bad movie.
Based on a true story, Mark O’Brien, a poet and journalist, decides to seek a sexual surrogate who will engage in therapy sessions for his sexual problems due to the affliction that has left him bed bound and without a hope of finding a mate.
It’s a biographical art house movie, not just for stuffy liberals but approach the film with those expectations.
The Bottom Line
Even though The Sessions is an award season brown-noser, it’s worthy of the exposure it has received – powerful performances and an emotionally trying story make for a film that has earned it’s place on the podium. The obvious justification of the inflammatory titles that I’ve given the film is undoubtedly Helen Hunts full nudity scenes – make all the fun you want but it takes courage for a woman on the verge of 50 to show it all, and I mean ALL. But thankfully the film isn’t just about her; the performance from John Hawkes as the polio crippled O’Brien is a show-stealer with his sensitive approach to the character’s wit, charm, and insecurities – it’s all method acting but as we’ve learned, this technique is what usually takes home the gold.
The Sessions is a sensitive, charming, and humorous look at man with deep psychological issues, and while it may have had more impact if the mental aspect of the character had been given more attention, the film is nevertheless endearing and thoughtful in its execution.