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The Sessions 

Simple and disarmingly funny

click to enlarge Hunt and Hawkes in The Sessions
  • Hunt and Hawkes in The Sessions

Sex is tricky enough when you spend your days in an iron lung, but love is a whole other battlefield. Based on the magazine article by poet and polio survivor Mark O'Brien, The Sessions is a simple and disarmingly funny tale of a paralyzed man attempting to lose his virginity through the services of a "sex surrogate." Played by a contorted John Hawkes (who apparently curved his own spine and migrated organs for the role), the film's O'Brien is a thoughtful and funny man who desperately wants to experience the world of carnal pleasures. Which makes it nonetheless terrifying when his surrogate (a frank and often naked Helen Hunt) gets into bed with him. Despite the paralysis, O'Brien struggles less with physical insertions than emotional ones, and The Sessions explores the never simple world of love and all the strange places it crops up.

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Vol 22, No 47
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