Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Sessions Review - 3 Stars

John Hawkes has steadily established himself as an actor to watch, particularly in last season’s “Winter’s Bone”.  “The Sessions” allows him to inhabit the story of poet/writer Mark O’Brien, a devote Catholic and polio survivor, who attended UC Berkley and graduated in spite of diminished size and the iron lung that keeps him alive most of the day, the result of childhood polio.  With the blessing of his priest, Hawkes, as O’Brien, finds a sex surrogate to help him achieve his desire to lose his virginity. Helen Hunt plays the surrogate with a mixture of dignity, compassion, and clinical manner.  Don’t go expecting sexy scenes although much of the story is played in full frontal nudity.  “The Session” conveys a message about sex and humanity and our need to connect.  Hawkes reminds me of Daniel Day Lewis in “My Left Foot” a role that won Lewis an Oscar.  “The Sessions” looks like an Oscar contender and a worthy one at that.  Does it deliver what it promises?  Interesting true life drama.  Is it entertaining?  Really holds your attention.  Is it worth the price of admission?  One of the year’s most remarkable.