Last night we watched an acclaimed independent film called The Sessions. This smart, funny, touching, grown-up film is easily one of the best of 2012. The Sessions is about a 38-yr-old almost paralyzed polio-afflicted man (John Hawkes) who has never had sex and wants to to see what it is like; so with the blessing of his priest (William H Macy) he hires a sex therapist (Helen Hunt, Oscar-nominated for this role). We see how they all learn and grow during their brief time together. The film is based on a true story by Mark O'Brien, a poet paralyzed from the neck down due to polio. The Sessions tackles difficult and awkward subject matter with great sensitivity and humour. The film is primarily about disability and sex, yet through these themes the film touches upon companionship, friendship, religion, physical and spiritual love, and oh yes a weirdly curved penis.
All the performances are warm and flawless, most especially Hunt, who in a perfect world would be handed the Academy Award right now. She is breathtaking. The film is written and directed by Ben Lewin, himself afflicted with polio, which might help give the film its realism and its tenderness. Despite its heavy topic, The Sessions is really a simple story of physical and spiritual love, and is surprisingly accessible and light-hearted. See The Sessions... and laugh and cry and think.