The Sessions: Blu-ray Review










The Movie:

Mark O’Brien (John Hawkes) is a writer/poet that contracted polio as a child and that in turn caused him to become paralyzed from the neck down. He spends a lot of time in an iron lung that he has in his home but is able to get out and about for a few hours at a time with the help of an assistant. Now in his late thirties he feels like he’s missing one thing that would make him feel complete. He wants to lose his virginity. He enlists the help of a sex surrogate named Cheryl Cohen-Greene (Helen Hunt) to achieve this. Her job is to assist Mark in having sexual intercourse and to be comfortable being intimate despite his disability. In the end Mark experiences more than just sexual independence, he experiences the ability to love.

With a story such as this it’s very easy to feel sorry for O’Brien but you as a viewer quickly realize that all he wants is what everyone else wants. To be loved. The movie was magnificently acted the whole way through and the cast felt like they were pieced together so perfectly. Almost like a expertly crafted puzzle. John Hawkes floored me as O’Brien. Although the whole movie consisted of him not moving at all from the neck down his performance was solid. Also, when some one cares so much about a role that they will sacrifice their well being or comfort level then you know they are giving their all for the character and film. Hawkes did just that and I’m sure it could be pretty painful at times staying in certain positions for long periods of time. Hunt went above and beyond for her role and spent a lot of her screen time nude but the accidental feelings she started developing for Hawkes character was one the best parts. You could see Cohen-Greene fight to not be emotionally connected to O’Brien and the pain that she felt when she made herself break away from him. Not only was this film dramatic but it also had great humor to it as well and much of it came from the banter between Hawkes and William H. Macy. Macy played O’Brien’s friend Father Brendan. Despite being a man of god he tried to give O’Brien the best advice he could on his journey. There was something about the delivery of some of the lines that Macy had that made me laugh out loud. The humor provided a perfect balance to this at times heartbreaking film. This is definitely a must see and after the film I guarantee you that you’re going to want to know more about the fantastic Mark O’Brien.

Special Features:

Deleted Scenes – Out of the few deleted scenes that were included I thought the one with Cohen-Greene and her son should’ve been left in. I thought that scene showed a bit more emotion from Hunt’s character.

Writer/Director Ben Lewin Finds Inspiration – A small feature with Lewin on how he came across O’Brien’s story that eventually became this film.

John Hawkes Becomes Mark O’Brien – Hawkes explains the process he went through to embody the character, all the way down to the certain angle he laid on the gurney and the tone of his voice.

Helen Hunt As The Sex Surrogate – She talks about meeting Cohen-Greene and deciding then that she wanted to take on this role. She also explains what a sex surrogate actually is.

The Women Who Loved Mark O’Brien – Interviews and film clips of the women who played O’Brien’s love interests in the film and the impact it had on them.

A Session With The Cast – A rundown of the making of the film with a few interviews here and there.

The Sessions is available NOW from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment


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