Monday, January 14, 2013
Ben Lewin's The Sessions is one such film. Revolving around Mark O'Brien (John Hawkes), a sex surrogate (Helen Hunt) and his priest (William H. Macy), the film provides a mature portrait of disability, sex and love.
I admire the way both Lewin and Hawkes depict O'Brien. They don't depict him as a deformed pariah to society or as a man angst-ridden by his condition. They depict O'Brien as a great mind trapped in a damaged body. It's definitely more tasteful than other depictions of disability (physical or mental) I've seen.
Now onto the two co-stars. Hunt (who looks great for 49, I must admit) provides the spirit of the film with her subtle performance. Macy in turn gives the film its comic relief. The heart of The Sessions, unsurprisingly, is Hawkes. I can see why Hunt was nominated; I don't understand how Hawkes wasn't equally nominated.
The Sessions is a very charming film, but there was something that kept me from loving it. I'm not sure what it was, but I sense I'll pick it up on a re-watch. The scenes between Hawkes and Hunt are quite lovely and very reminiscent of the couples of Hollywood past. This is the kind of film I encourage others to see.
My Rating: ****1/2