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
Bill Hillman - 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.
Graduation. Today I hear the crowd's applause. Receive the congratulations from ...
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Emotional, touching, and uplifting it inspires an intimate feel and discovery of achievement.
Been a little while since I've seen a film that's as touching and moving as "The Sessions" which is based on the real life story of a California man named Mark O' Brien. And it's certainly a little different O' Brien(in a top notch and excellent performance from John Hawkes)a poet and journalist is a man with talent, but tragically he's confined to an iron lung due to a kid bout with polio. Then at the age of 38 Mark has made the big decision to lose his virginity. This will be a big impact on Mark's life so he consults the advice of his ever honest priest Father Brendan(in a good supporting turn from veteran William H. Macy)who oddly enough gives a good hearted thumbs up.
This pleasure changing experiment will have to be done with the help of a professional sex surrogate and this lady is a strong and tough wife and mother who makes her living helping others enter Cheryl(in a strong and direct turn from Helen Hunt)who can make everything appear like she's the plain Jane girl from next door. Slowly but surely these encounters or sessions between her and Mark produce results of feeling, relaxation, mind changing, and comfort, all before they finally approach the pleasure point! Along the way this picture is told with honesty and much of the scenes are humor mixed with blunt and brash serious feel of a man being set free toward a new feeling of pleasure freedom finally! Overall the "Sessions" is a film of journey and it shows how the discovery of sexual pleasure can bring out emotional freedom that's touching and memorable even though the scenes are brash with skin and memorable and educational with thought. This film is a real inspirational winner and the chemistry between Helen Hunt and John Hawkes is in top notch form as director Ben Lewin made a real and true winner.
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