A film about a man paralysed from the neck down trying to lose his virginity may not sound like a must-see kind of movie, however drama The Session was released last year to critical acclaim and won a ton of praise for its cast.
Based on the true story of poet Mark O’Brien(John Hawkes) who had polio as a child and is paralysed from the neck down, because of this he is still a virgin. Fearing he may be nearing the end of his life he decides to hire a sex surrogate named Cheryl (Helen Hunt). The film follows their six sessions together and how their unusual relationship affects them both.
It’s easy to see why Helen Hunt was Oscar nominated for her role. She is brilliant as Cheryl, funny and sensitive as she does her work with Mark. Hunt sheds all her inhibitions in her scenes with Hawkes and manages to make their situation seem completely normal. However its a big mystery as to why John Hawkes wasn’t also nominated for an Oscar as well. Not only does he physically embody the role of Mark, managing to convey so much considering he is barely able to move, but he also manages to slip effortlessly between the funny and tragic moments of the film. A difficult role that he handles so well you do wonder why he was missed out in so many award nominations.
There is also a great supporting cast. William H Macy is great as Father Brendan who does his best to support religious Mark through his sessions, which leads to many amusingly awkward conversations. Also good is Moon Bloodgood (excellent name by the way) as Vera, one of Mark’s caretaker who has to take him to his sessions with Cheryl.
Rating-4/5 funny, touching and full of great performances-go and watch it now!