7.2/10
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138 user 336 critic

The Sessions (2012)

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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.

Director:

Ben Lewin

Writers:

Ben Lewin (written for the screen by), Mark O'Brien (article)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 18 wins & 63 nominations. See more awards »

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Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
John Hawkes ... Mark
Helen Hunt ... Cheryl
William H. Macy ... Father Brendan
Moon Bloodgood ... Vera
Annika Marks ... Amanda
Adam Arkin ... Josh
Rhea Perlman ... Mikvah Lady
W. Earl Brown ... Rod
Robin Weigert ... Susan
Blake Lindsley ... Dr. Laura White
Ming Lo ... Clerk
Rusty Schwimmer ... Joan
Jennifer Kumiyama Jennifer Kumiyama ... Carmen
Tobias Forrest ... Greg
Jarrod Bailey ... Tony
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

THE FESTIVAL HIT OF THE YEAR!


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

16 November 2012 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Six Sessions See more »

Filming Locations:

San Francisco, California, USA

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$113,467, 21 October 2012, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$6,002,451, 14 March 2013

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$9,138,338, 14 March 2013
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby | Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Ben Lewin met with several disabled actors but didn't feel any of them were right for the part. See more »

Goofs

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

Quotes

[first lines]
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.
Mark O'Brien: Graduation. Today I hear the crowd's applause. Receive the congratulations from ...
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Connections

Featured in The Oscars (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Fine Wine Tasting for Two
Written by Brad Hatfield (as Bradley P. Hatfield)
Performed by Brad Hatfield Quintet
Courtesy of Heavy Hitters Music Group
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User Reviews

 
A Beautiful and Inspiring Story
10 January 2013 | by akash_sebastianSee all my reviews

It's a beautiful and inspiring story. John Hawkes is brilliant in his portrayal of polio-afflicted quadriplegic man, who's quite intellectual and charming. With just his facial expressions and dialogues, Hawkes charms you throughout the movie. Helen Hunt is flawless, as always, and pretty comfortably gets into the shoes of a sex surrogate. William H. Macy and Moon Bloodgood are amazing as the supporting characters; they have some of the best dialogues in the movie.

Mark O'Brien's story is intriguing, inspiring and quite moving. His intention to lose his virginity through a sex surrogate leads him to experience love, both physically and emotionally. Mark O'Brien's story proves that physicality doesn't play such a big role when it comes to affecting and attracting people, in the long run; intellect and charm are greater factors. He affects and attracts the lives of three beautiful women.

The nudity and sex in the movie is not vulgar or erotic; it's more on the emotional and intimate side.

Some of the memorable dialogues from the movie include: 1> "I understand that even among non-believers, the most common expression of sexual ecstasy is 'oh God'". 2> Vera: "Today, they're working on simultaneous orgasm." --- Clerk: "What's that?"

As Betsy Sharkey from Los Angeles Times aptly says, "In a country that embraces cinematic violence with such ease but blushingly prefers to keep sex in the shadows or under the sheets, the grown-up approach of 'The Sessions' is rare."


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