News

Ben Lewin talks how desperation and luck helped him make The Sessions

  • IF.com.au
The Adg Conference session 'The Entrepreneurial Director' should have been titled 'The Desperate Director,' according to Ben Lewin, who rounded out the first day of Directing in the Digital Age yesterday. Speaking candidly to a room full of peers, Lewin spoke of how it was hitting (almost) rock-bottom in his field that opened the doors which would lead to his successful and critically acclaimed film The Sessions. Speaking of how ABC TV in Australia wouldn't return his calls, Lewin said "It was, at the time,the hardest pill to swallow... In retrospect, I am grateful for the rejection. It gave me the desperation I needed to move forward. Thus, the theme of this talk. Except for 'entrepreneurial', read 'desperate.' And for the other part of the formula - add in sheer, dumb, luck." Lewin is being modest here. Sheer dumb luck didn't grant the film a Golden Globe or Oscar nod,
See full article at IF.com.au »

Film Review: 'Come As You Are'

  • CineVue
★★★☆☆ The prospect of a trio of twentysomething virgins embarking on a sexual odyssey of a road-trip is not likely to seem unfamiliar to most cinema audiences. In Geoffrey Enthoven's Belgian comedy Come As You Are (Hasta la Vista, 2011) this potentially tired convention is given a cute twist in that each of the young men is severely disabled. As such, their voyage is more akin to that of Mark O'Brien in The Sessions (2012) than the cruder hijinks of the gross-out American Pie franchise. Avoiding over-sentimentality it proves a humorous, good natured affair which perhaps proves a little too generic but is an enjoyable ride nonetheless.

Philip (Robrecht Vanden Thoren) is a paraplegic, Lars (Gilles de Schrijver) has a debilitating terminal cancer and Jozef (Tom Audenaert) is almost completely blind. Philip and Lars are both confined to wheelchairs and Jozef uses a magnifier to see. One day, on the suggestion of a never-seen friend called Curt,
See full article at CineVue »

Helen Hunt, John Hawkes win for 'The Sessions' at 2013 Spirit Awards

Helen Hunt, John Hawkes win for 'The Sessions' at 2013 Spirit Awards
Helen Hunt and John Hawkes have taken home awards for The Sessions during the Independent Spirit Awards ceremony on Saturday (February 23).

Hunt won 'Best Supporting Female', while Hawkes won 'Best Male Lead' for their roles in the 2012 drama.

The Sessions tells the story of poet Mark O'Brien (Hawkes) who is paralyzed due to polio, and lives with an iron lung.

Due to his physical conditions, Mark has never had sex, so he hires a sex surrogate to lose his virginity.

Both Hunt and Hawkes were nominated at the Golden Globe Awards and Screen Actor Guild Awards. Hunt is also nominated for an Academy Award.

The 85th Academy Awards air on Sunday (February 24) at 7pm Et on ABC.

Watch a trailer for The Sessions below:
See full article at Digital Spy - Movie News »

Iw Talks to the Oscar '13 Nominees: Helen Hunt Discusses Baring All in 'The Sessions'

  • Indiewire
Iw Talks to the Oscar '13 Nominees: Helen Hunt Discusses Baring All in 'The Sessions'
Iw Talks to the Oscar 13' Nominees' is a daily series running through to this year's Oscar ceremony (February 24) that features new or previously published interviews with some of this year's nominees. Today, we're re-running an interview Best Supporting Actress nominee Helen Hunt ("The Sessions"). At Sundance this January, Academy Award-winner Helen Hunt courted the most attention she's received in over a decade for her brave and baring turn as a sex surrogate in "The Sessions" (then titled "The Surrogate"). The film, inspired by a true story, centers on Mark O'Brien (John Hawkes), a Berkeley author confined to an iron lung due to childhood polio. At 38, O'Brien, who can't move any of his limbs but is not impotent, decides he wants to finally lose his virginity. Enter Hunt as Cheryl Cohen Green, a sex surrogate, who O'Brien calls on to aid him in the process. Written and directed by Ben Lewin,
See full article at Indiewire »

Exclusive: Ben Lewin Talks The Sessions on Blu-Ray

  • MovieWeb
Exclusive: Ben Lewin Talks The Sessions on Blu-Ray
Ben Lewin Talks The Sessions, available now on Blu-ray and DVD

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 a priest, he sets out to make his dream a reality.

We recently talked with director Ben Lewin, just as The Sessions, which has garnered Helen Hunt an Academy Award nomination, makes its way to Blu-ray and DVD. Check out our conversation, then be sure to check out the movie, which is available today!

Before Mark O'Brien, whom John Hawkes plays in the movie, passed away, he started courting a young woman named Susan Fernbach. You actually collaborated with her quite a bit on the screenplay, correct?

Ben Lewin: Yes. That
See full article at MovieWeb »

Win Academy Award Nominated The Sessions on Blu-ray

Helen Hunt is up for a Best Actress in a Supporting Role for her work in Ben Lewin's The Sessions, recently released on Blu-ray and DVD for the first time.

Thanks to Fox Home Entertainment, we are awarding two of you a copy of The Sessions on Blu-ray in this contest. For a chance to win one, please fill out and submit the short entry form below. The odds of winning can be increased each or every day you stop back to enter again. The more entries, the better the odds. You must be a resident of the U.S. or Canada to enter.

Paralyzed and confined to an iron lung since childhood, poet-journalist Mark O'Brien (John Hawkes) has overcome adversity time and time again. But now, at age 38, he faces his toughest challenge yet: losing his virginity. With the help of a beautiful therapist (Helen Hunt), a sympathetic
See full article at TheHDRoom »

Exclusive: John Hawkes Dreams Of Dancers In Deleted Scene From 'The Sessions'

  • The Playlist
The journey for "The Sessions" is nearly over, but it has been one helluva ride. Premiering in January 2012 at the Sundance Film Festival, the film by writer/director Ben Lewin left Park City with considerable buzz, which Fox Searchlight continued to build over the course of the year, culminating in Golden Globe and Indie Spirit nominations for stars John Hawkes and Helen Hunt, and an Oscar nod for Hunt as well. The film tells the remarkable true story of Mark O'Brien, a man afflicted by polio and confined to an iron lung who endeavors to lose his virginity via the help of a sex surrogate. It's a fascinating and often surprisingly funny true story, but the original draft of the tale included some more fantastical elements. In this exclusive deleted scene from the movie, we see Mark dreaming that he's in a hospital where the disabled patients are ordered to work with their sex surrogates,
See full article at The Playlist »

What to Rent: New DVDs This Week

  • BuzzSugar
Robot and Frank and The Man With the Iron Fists are also available on DVD this week. Skyfall Daniel Craig reprises his role as Agent 007 in the latest stylish Bond film. Director Sam Mendes blends together classic Bond elements and characters for a fresh take on the beloved franchise. This time, Bond finds himself coming out of early retirement to help M (Judi Dench) after she accidentally leaks a list of secret agents. He's led to creepy, campy villain Silva (Javier Bardem), who provides an evil agenda and some comic relief. The DVD comes with a four-part making-of documentary. 92% The Perks of Being a Wallflower Author Stephen Chbosky takes his beloved coming-of-age story to the big screen, as both writer and director of the film. Logan Lerman stars as Charlie, the shy teen who finds his niche with a like-minded group of misfits and soon develops a crush on one of the ringleaders,
See full article at BuzzSugar »

New on DVD and Blu-ray: 'Skyfall' and More

  • NextMovie
This week: Daniel Craig returns as 007 in arguably the best Bond film ever (or at least in decades), "Skyfall," co-starring Judi Dench, Javier Bardem, Ralph Fiennes, Naomie Harris and Ben Whishaw.

Also new this week is the coming-of-age drama "The Perks of Being a Wallflower" with Emma Watson, RZA trying to do Quentin Tarantino proud in "The Man with the Iron Fists" and the sexually frank drama "The Sessions" starring Helen Hunt.

'Skyfall'

Box Office: $303 million

Rotten Tomatoes: 92% Fresh

Storyline: Daniel Craig returns as James Bond in this 23rd installment of the longest-running film franchise in history. This time Bond's loyalty to M (Judi Dench) is tested when a mysterious man from her past, Silva (Javier Bardem), threatens to destroy her. With security compromised, M is forced to relocate MI6 as her position is challenged by the new chairman of the intelligence and security committee (Ralph Fiennes). M
See full article at NextMovie »

Helen Hunt & John Hawkes In The Sessions Clip

If The Sessions wasn't based on a true story of Mark O'Brien, the Helen Hunt and John Hawkes movie would be a ridiculous premise. A paraplegic man in an iron lung wishes to lose his virginity with the help of a professional sex surrogate in this clip from the drama.

We first learned of the man in the iron lung through the Jessica Yu's Academy Award-winning documentary Breathing Lessons: The Life and Work of Mark O'BrienJohn Hawkes (Lincoln, Eastbound & Down) plays the poet and journalist who has since died in real-life. Helen Hunt is the sex surrogate whom relieved O'Brien of his virginity. The real O'Brien published a 1990 magazine article about the whole experience.

Helen Hunt and John Hawkes are garnering positive reviews, and are said to be

Read more...
See full article at CineMovie »

The Sessions movie poster 3

See the third poster for The Sessions, starring John Hawkes, Helen Hunt and William H. Macy In Fox Searchlight Pictures' The Sessions, Hawkes stars as a Mark O'Brien, a man confined to an iron lung after polio, 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. Also in the cast of a film that looks like it offers top-notch acting, are Moon Bloodgood, Annika Marks, W. Earl Brown, Blake Lindsley, Adam, Arkin, Ming Lo, Jennifer Kumiyama and Robin Weigert. The film opens in theaters on October 26th, 2012.
See full article at Upcoming-Movies.com »

New Exclusive Clip from The Sessions where John Hawkes and William H. Macy Discuss Sex

Vulture's released an exclusive movie clip for Fox Searchlight Pictures' The Sessions, where John Hawkes and William H. Macy Discuss Sex. The drama which was seen at this year's Sundance Film Festival, looks like it features some powerful acting and opens in theaters on October 26th, 2012. John Hawkes stars as a Mark O'Brien, a man confined to an iron lung after polio, 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. Helen Hunt also stars with support from Moon Bloodgood, Annika Marks, W. Earl Brown, Blake Lindsley, Adam, Arkin, Ming Lo, Jennifer Kumiyama and Robin Weigert.
See full article at Upcoming-Movies.com »

Watch the first clip from The Sessions starring John Hawkes and Helen Hunt

A first clip has arrived from The Sessions (a.k.a. The Surrogate). The film stars John Hawkes as a Mark O'Brien, a man confined to an iron lung after polio, 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. Helen Hunt plays a sexual surrogate who, as you can see by this new clip, limits the amount of "Sessions" allowed in her aiding Mark in learning about sexual intercourse. The film looks like it features strong performances and one I'd like to catch at some point, with a great supporting cast including William H. Macy, Moon Bloodgood, Annika Marks, W. Earl Brown and Adam Arkin among others.
See full article at Upcoming-Movies.com »

The Story Behind Sundance Hit 'The Surrogate' is in 'Breathing Lessons'

The Story Behind Sundance Hit 'The Surrogate' is in 'Breathing Lessons'
"The Surrogate," a drama based on the (sex) life of poet, journalist and polio victim Mark O'Brien, is already deemed one of Sundance's breakout hits, with Fox Searchlight reportedly paying $6 million for worldwide rights and holding hopes for awards this time next year. However, it's not the first time that O'Brien's life has been made into a movie -- and the Oscars are already familiar territory. Jessica Yu won the Academy Award for best documentary short in 1997 with "Breathing Lessons: The Life and Work of Mark O'Brien," a 35-minute film comprised almost entirely of O'Brien talking to the camera from inside his iron lung. (At one point, Yu hoped to turn "Breathing Lessons" into a feature and was developing it with Oliver Stone.) In a voice that sounds much like that of "The Surrogate" star John Hawkes, O'Brien details his history, his current life and his future. Shot in 1994, his life.
See full article at Indiewire »

John Hawkes Cast in ‘Surrogate’

  • Slash Film
John Hawkes Cast in ‘Surrogate’
The last couple years have been good for John Hawkes. A career of smallish roles and a few very notable attention-getting turns (a notable Deadwood character, the lead in Me and You and Everyone We Know) led to Easbound and Down. With a raised his profile the actor ended up in the excellent film Winter's Bone, for which he was nominated for an Oscar. While he didn't win, that's a pretty huge step for a guy who audiences might not have recognized on the street just a few years ago. He's got a role in the Sundance fave Martha Marcy May Marlene, has shot a part in Steven Soderbergh's Contagion and is now staying indie with the drama Surrogate, based on the life of poet and journalist Mark O'Brien. We don't specifically know what role John Hawkes has, though it could be the lead in the film written and directed by Ben Lewin.
See full article at Slash Film »

John Hawkes to star in Surrogate movie! Ben Lewin directs indie.

John Hawkes is set to star in the indie drama Surrogate for Rhino Films which Ben Lewin is directing from his own script. Stephen Nemeth produces Surrogate which is based on the life of Mark O'Brien, a poet and journalist who has spent his life with an iron lung due to polio. After deciding to explore his sexuality, he hires a sex surrogate and soon sparks a relationship that will change both of their lives. O'Brien's life was also a subject in the Oscar-winning documentary short Breathing Lessons: The Life and Work of Mark O'Brien by Jessica Yu. Surrogate, however, is not based on Breathing Lessons...
See full article at Upcoming-Movies.com »

John Hawkes to star in Surrogate movie! Ben Lewin directs indie.

John Hawkes is set to star in the indie drama Surrogate for Rhino Films which Ben Lewin is directing from his own script. Stephen Nemeth produces Surrogate which is based on the life of Mark O'Brien, a poet and journalist who has spent his life with an iron lung due to polio. After deciding to explore his sexuality, he hires a sex surrogate and soon sparks a relationship that will change both of their lives. O'Brien's life was also a subject in the Oscar-winning documentary short Breathing Lessons: The Life and Work of Mark O'Brien by Jessica Yu. Surrogate, however, is not based on Breathing Lessons...
See full article at Upcoming-Movies.com »

See also

Credited With | External Sites