7.2/10
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138 user 337 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

To prepare for his role, John Hawkes read every word written by Mark O'Brien. 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 Ben Shapiro Show: Trump's America (2018) 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

 
An unusual story most skillfully handled
6 August 2012 | by rokhopaSee 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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