7.2/10
39,216
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

John Hawkes placed a cushion under one side of his back to achieve the look of Mark O'Brien's distorted spine. 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 2013 Film Independent Spirit Awards (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

I Go All to Pieces
Written by Jeff Meegan (as Jeffrey S. Meegan)
Performed by Jeff Meegan
Courtesy of Heavy Hitters Music Group
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User Reviews

 
Touching, Intimate and Adult Film
10 October 2012 | by barbaras2050See 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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