‘The Sessions’ speaks with stark sincerity

By Kyra Smith-Cullen
A&E Editor

February 14, 2013

In a world where movies are praised for their special effects and complex plot, ‘The Sessions’ stands out with it’s simple plot and remarkable cast.

‘The Sessions’ is about real life polio victim, Mark O’Brien, who is practically a quadrapelegic. Because of his disability, O’Brien believes that if he were to lose his virginity, he’d feel less helpless. He decides to visit ‘sex surrogate’ Cheryl – a professional who seeks to help the disabled become comfortable with their sexuality.

John Hawkes, who plays O’Brien, gives a brilliant performance for somebody who is forced to rely only on his face and voice to convey his character to the audience. Just as wonderful was Helen Hunt, whose role as Cheryl got her nominated for an Oscar. While Cheryl is comfortable with her body, the movie reveals that she suffers from a different type of confinement. While the film had its humorous moments, the plot is more focused on watching O’Brien grow and be more accepting of his body. The movie is predictable, but in a way that doesn’t drag and bore its audience. Instead, viewers are left sympathetic to O’Brien’s plight and wanting him to succeed.

The camera angles don’t disappoint. In several instances, the audience sees things at the same level that O’Brien sees them. People are rarely on the same plane as he is, so the director utilizes that to make the movie more visually appealing.

Viewers may appreciate the simplicity that ‘The Sessions’ brings to the table and for the messages it tries to convey.  An old adage says ‘Less is more’, and that is true with this movie.

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Posted in: A&E

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