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The Sessions (2012)

R  |   |  Biography, Comedy, Drama  |  16 November 2012 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 35,183 users   Metascore: 79/100
Reviews: 123 user | 336 critic | 39 from Metacritic.com

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 15 wins & 57 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Mikvah Lady
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?


John Hawkes placed a cushion under one side of his back to achieve the look of Mark O'Brien's distorted spine. See more »


Cheryl wears Wacoal bras from 2011, including the "Embrace Lace Underwire" bra style #65191. 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 ...
See more »


Featured in The 2013 Film Independent Spirit Awards (2013) See more »


CMP231 Russian Romance
Written and performed by Udi Harpaz
Published by Netrax Music
Courtesy of Crucial Music Corporation
See more »

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User Reviews

An unusual story most skillfully handled
6 August 2012 | by (Melbourne. Australia) – See all my reviews

The niche subject matter will not be to everyone's taste but the handling of it by the artful Ben Lewin has been most skillfully and sensitively handled. The casting, particularly Helen Hunt, is ideal and Ben's subtle Jewish humour adds just the right touch to what could so easily have become a difficult story to keep on the move. As the film progressed I became increasingly intrigued by how it might end but it never loses interest and the combination of a tight script, good acting and very sensitive direction keeps the tension right to the end. Although a low budget production, it never feels like it and is vastly more satisfying than the big name run-of-the-mill rubbish Hollywood churns out far too often. This is a rewarding film in its own right and a valuable study into how tough life is for the seriously disabled. It provides a great service to everyone caught in such extreme circumstances and deserves success.

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What has happened to Helen Hunts face? jack000-3
Hawkes, not Hunt, deserved a nomination rocknthesubrbs
relationship between Cheryl and her husband? hollygolitely63@hotmail.com
How good was Helen Hunt????? psychonoir89
Helen hunts poem seandefeliz
The ending... new woman tshullin-300-167277
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