Street Date: February 12, 2013
Available On: DVD and Blu-ray
The Film: Mark O’Brien (John Hawkes) has a brilliant mind and a body paralyzed from the neck down due to polio. Interested in understanding the complexities of love and sex O’Brian hires Cheryl Cohen Greene (Helen Hunt), a sex surrogate, to help him navigate through his fears and insecurities. The journey proves to be more than either expected.
The Extras: Deleted Scenes, a variety of featturettes focusing on Hunt’s and Hawkes’ performances.
Recommendation: When I first read the synopsis for ‘The Surrogate” (it was later changed to “The Sessions”) in the Sundance guide for 2012 I wasn’t interested in seeing the film. A day or two into the festival the buzz surrounding the film was electric and audiences rather than critics or industry members propelled it. Everywhere I went people were talking about how much they loved the film. They weren’t talking about the nudity, the sex or the sensational aspect of the story. They were talking about love, humanity and the need for physical affection. So, I decided to see the film for myself.
“The Sessions” isn’t about sex as much as it about a person’s journey to understand what it means to be human. O’Brian had gone out of his way to not let his paralysis limit his enjoyment of life, but he longed for a greater sense of being, a deeper connection to his physical self. Yes, there is quite a bit of nudity and unfortunately that will keep many people from seeing the film. It is unfortunate because “The Sessions” is the sort of film that is so uplifting and life confirming that you can’t help but be a better person after seeing it. It takes what seems like a vulgar premise and turns it into something beautiful.
-Ryan Michael Painter
(Copyright 2013 Sinclair Broadcast Group)