The Sessions


2013 | 95 minutes | Rated R

Helen Hunt is perfectly cast as a sex surrogate in The Sessions: She wields her body with the matter-of-fact assurance of a mature professional practicing her craft. She plays Cheryl, who’s been hired to indoctrinate paralyzed writer Mark (John Hawkes) in the ways of S-E-X. Mark contracted polio as a kid, and the iron lung has seriously hindered his game—so after realizing that other disabled people still manage to have sex lives, he contacts Cheryl to figure out just what kinds of experiences his paralyzed body is capable of having. Cheryl isn’t a prostitute; she approaches her job with a therapist’s discipline, guiding 38-year-old Mark through the first sexual experiences of his life. Hunt and Hawkes are so damn good, and the scenes between the two of them so rich in awkward, funny, premature ejaculate-y tenderness, that the strengths of this odd little true story far outweigh its imperfections. (ALISON HALLETT)

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Film Credits
Ben Lewin
John Hawkes, Helen Hunt, William Macy, Moon Bloodgood, Annika Marks, Adam Arkin, W. Brown