Like Argo, The Sessions is yet another film based on extraordinary true life events that seem too out there, too impossible to have really happened. But they did. If you are lucky enough to see this film, prepare to be awed, and inspired.
iron lung. He lives alone and is completely dependent on his team of caregivers to feed, bathe and transport him into the outside world. While he may be physically disabled, Mark's mind and will power are stronger than most anyone else. He "lives inside his head," and uses his mouth and a push stick to type and use the telephone to communicate his thoughts/ideas. Mark graduated from college and has a career in writing, accomplishing more than most "regular" people might ever do, but as his time on Earth winds down, he realizes that he's never known intimacy or love and decides to do something about it. He turns to Helen Hunt, a sexual therapist/surrogate to help him lose his virginity.
Yeah, kind of weird I know. Not as weird as when he describes his sexual habits with his hippie priest. That was odd, but funny...and moving. That's the thing. Mark is so fragile and vulnerable because of his condition, he's also past the life expectancy for polio victims, he literally has nothing to lose anymore and is just the most open and painfully honest dude around.
Major props to John Hawkes. He literally carries the film on his shoulders. He's a shoe in for a Best Actor nomination in my book. Hawkes has been a character actor for more than twenty years but after his performances in Winter's Bone, Martha Marcy May Marlene and now The Sessions, I hope his career blows up into leading man status the way it should. Helen Hunt and William H. Macy (when is Macy NOT phenomenal?) are great as well. I sort of forgot Helen Hunt existed for the past decade, it's good to see her back, in fine acting...and physical form (she plays a sex surrogate, she's naked a lot and looks amazing). My favorite supporting character is that of Mark's collegiate caregiver Vera played by the wonderful Moon Bloodgood. She transforms from a frigid academic type to one of Mark's most caring friends and really impressed me with her performance.
Great acting coupled with a truly powerful and inspiring message. I don't see how you can go wrong with The Sessions.