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The Sessions (2012)

R  |   |  Biography, Comedy, Drama  |  16 November 2012 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 34,883 users   Metascore: 79/100
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A man in an iron lung who wishes to lose his virginity contacts a professional sex surrogate with the help of his therapist and priest.



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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 21 wins & 51 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
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Dr. Laura White


At the age of 38, Mark O'Brien, a man who uses an iron lung, decides he no longer wishes to be a virgin. With the help of his therapist and his priest, he contacts Cheryl Cohen-Greene, a professional sex surrogate and a typical soccer mom with a house, a mortgage and a husband. Inspired by a true story, The Sessions, follows the fascinating relationship which evolves between Cheryl and Mark as she takes him on his journey to manhood. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong sexuality including graphic nudity and frank dialogue | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

16 November 2012 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Six Sessions  »

Filming Locations:

Box Office


$1,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$113,467 (USA) (19 October 2012)


$5,997,134 (USA) (8 March 2013)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The movie is based on the article "On Seeing a Sex Surrogate" by Mark O'Brien in the May 1990 issue of The Sun magazine. See more »


Rhea Perlman's name is misspelled (Pearlman) in the end credits. See more »


[first lines]
Himself - Reporter: Mark O'Brien has been going to UC Berkley since 1978. That's O'Brien in the motorized gurney heading for class last week. He had polio when he was six years old. The disease left his body crippled, but his mind remained sharp and alert. And since he wanted to be a writer, Mark O'Brien entered Cal to major in English and learn his trade. He wrote this poem for us about school here and about graduation.
Mark O'Brien: Graduation. Today I hear the crowd's applause. Receive the congratulations from ...
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User Reviews

Touching, Intimate and Adult Film
10 October 2012 | by See all my reviews

John Hawkes continues to amaze with his chameleon-like embodiment of unusual characters. This time, he plays Marc O'Brien, a 36 year-old polio victim who has spent his life horizontal in an iron lung. Based on a true story, O'Brien is a poet and a romantic, who has never had a sexual experience. After consulting his priest, ( William H. Macy perfectly embodies the Berkeley radical father), he contacts a therapist and hooks up with a sexual surrogate, Helen Hunt. Their "sessions" form the heart of this tender film, and take both the audience and Marc on a journey of self-awareness and discovery. Hawkes is simply amazing. He imbues the character with innocence, hope and wry humor in what can only be described as a tour de force performance. Hunt is equally skilled in her role, combining professionalism, playfulness, sensuality, and compassion in series of sessions which require full nudity. Both actors are courageous in their pursuit of truth and humanity and achieve Oscar caliber performances, thanks to the sensitive direction of writer/director Ben Lewin.

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Hawkes, not Hunt, deserved a nomination rocknthesubrbs
What has happened to Helen Hunts face? jack000-3
relationship between Cheryl and her husband?
How good was Helen Hunt????? psychonoir89
Helen hunts poem seandefeliz
The ending... new woman tshullin-300-167277
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