The Sessions

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The Sessions
December 4, 2012
Showtimes (change daily)
12:50, 3:00, 5:10, 7:20, 9:30

John Hawkes, Helen Hunt, and William H. Macy star in the luminously comic true story of a man who didn’t let Polio stop him from enjoying life, including love and sex

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. A film like The Sessions relies on strong performances, and it’s hard to imagine a finer cast than that assembled by director Ben Lewin. Acclaimed for his sterling character work in Me and You and Everyone We Know, Martha Marcy May Marlene, Winter’s Bone (for which he received an Academy Award nomination) and Deadwood, John Hawkes brings tremendous expressiveness to O’Brien, despite being unable to use most of his body. William H. Macy is wonderfully droll as his permissive priest, and Helen Hunt is radiant, compassionate and thoroughly no-nonsense as the therapist who helps him reach his goal. The Sessions reminds us what can be achieved when we strive to overcome preconceptions. Sensual but never lewd, this is one of the year’s most authentic and unlikely feel-good movies.  (USA, 2012, 98 min., color, 35mm, Rated R • Writer/Director: Ben Lewin • 2012, Toronto Film Festival)

“The Sessions is a pleasant shock: a touching, profoundly sex-positive film that equates sex with intimacy, tenderness and emotional connection instead of performance, competition and conquest.” – Stephen Holden, NEW YORK TIMES

“John Hawkes does the kind of acting that awards were invented for in this exhilarating gift of a movie that’s funny, touching and vital.” -Peter Travers, ROLLING STONE

“Hawkes’ performance is the must-see hook of The Sessions, but Hunt gives this funny, touching movie its soul.” – Rene Rodriguez, MIAMI HERALD

“The achievement of this simply told, exceptionally fine film is the clarity with which it portrays the drama of a good soul in an inert body.” – Ty Burr, BOSTON GLOBE

“**** 4 Stars! The Sessions” treats intimacy with an explicitness and honesty that’s very rare in movies.” – Lou Lumenick, NEW YORK POST

“The Sessions becomes a dance of joy in the midst of severe challenge, and a movie with a light spirit that lifts a tale of heavy fate.” – Lisa Schwarzbaum, ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY

“The joy of The Sessions goes beyond sexual healing. It makes physical intimacy far more a matter of the heart, and you won’t be alone wiping an occasional tear.” – Linda Barnard, TORONTO STAR