The Sessions


D: Ben Lewin

Fox Searchlight/Such Much/Rhino (Judi Levine, Stephen Nemeth & Ben Lewin)

US 2012

95 mins


W: Ben Lewin

DP: Geoffrey Simpson

Ed: Lisa Bromwell

Mus: Marco Beltrami

John Hawkes (Mark O’Brien), Helen Hunt (Cheryl Cohen-Green), William H. Macy (Father Brendan), Moon Bloodgood (Vera), Annika Marks (Amanda)

The Sessions stars John Hawkes as a victim of polio complications who has spent his life since childhood in an iron lung.  Due to his condition, he has never had sex and fearing that his death is imminent, he gets help from his career and a priest to recruit the services of a sex surrogate (Helen Hunt), who never allows the professional relationship she provides to be breached, but a bond does develop between them during their sessions together.

Ben Lewin’s direction and screenplay does a very tasteful job with adult subject matter which never feels tacky or tawdry for a single moment, with the performances of both Hawkes and Hunt being nothing short of excellent.

It’s probably not something you’d choose to watch for a romantic evening, but it is film with a lot of genuine romance at its core.


Helen Hunt & John Hawkes in The Sessions
Helen Hunt & John Hawkes in The Sessions