7.2/10
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The Sessions (2012)

Trailer
2:31 | Trailer
A man in an iron lung who wishes to lose his virginity contacts a professional sex surrogate with the help of his therapist and priest.

Director:

Ben Lewin

Writers:

Ben Lewin (written for the screen by), Mark O'Brien (article)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 18 wins & 63 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
John Hawkes ... Mark
Helen Hunt ... Cheryl
William H. Macy ... Father Brendan
Moon Bloodgood ... Vera
Annika Marks ... Amanda
Adam Arkin ... Josh
Rhea Perlman ... Mikvah Lady
W. Earl Brown ... Rod
Robin Weigert ... Susan
Blake Lindsley ... Dr. Laura White
Ming Lo ... Clerk
Rusty Schwimmer ... Joan
Jennifer Kumiyama Jennifer Kumiyama ... Carmen
Tobias Forrest ... Greg
Jarrod Bailey ... Tony
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Storyline

At the age of 38, Mark O'Brien, a man who uses an iron lung, decides he no longer wishes to be a virgin. With the help of his therapist and his priest, he contacts Cheryl Cohen-Greene, a professional sex surrogate and a typical soccer mom with a house, a mortgage and a husband. Inspired by a true story, The Sessions, follows the fascinating relationship which evolves between Cheryl and Mark as she takes him on his journey to manhood. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

THE FESTIVAL HIT OF THE YEAR!


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong sexuality including graphic nudity and frank dialogue | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Fox [United States]

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

16 November 2012 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Surrogate See more »

Filming Locations:

San Francisco, California, USA

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$113,467, 21 October 2012

Gross USA:

$6,002,451

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$9,138,338
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby | Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Writer-director Ben Lewin is a polio victim himself. He was researching a semi-autobiographical sitcom when he stumbled on the internet on the story of Mark O'Brien and sex surrogate Cheryl Cohen Greene. See more »

Goofs

Cheryl wears Wacoal bras from 2011, including the "Embrace Lace Underwire" bra style #65191. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Bill Hillman - Reporter: Mark O'Brien has been going to UC Berkley since 1978. That's O'Brien in the motorized gurney heading for class last week. He had polio when he was six years old. The disease left his body crippled, but his mind remained sharp and alert. And since he wanted to be a writer, Mark O'Brien entered Cal to major in English and learn his trade. He wrote this poem for us about school here and about graduation.
Mark O'Brien: Graduation. Today I hear the crowd's applause. Receive the congratulations from ...
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Maltin on Movies: Flight (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

CMI3317 Shearing Lounge
Written and performed by Steven Michael Yeager
Published by Music Expressions
Courtesy of Crucial Music Corporation
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User Reviews

 
Delicate Subject Makes For An Unforgettable Film
21 November 2012 | by georgep53See all my reviews

"The Sessions" is a sensitive and poignant film with an outstanding performance by John Hawkes as poet Mark O'Brien a childhood victim of polio that left him paralyzed from the neck down and dependent on personal attendants and an iron lung that enables him to survive the nights without suffocating. In voice and facial expression he manages to perfectly capture the life of a severely disabled man who likes to push against boundaries and retains a sense of humor--he tells someone that he believes in God because he needs to blame someone. This role is quite a departure for Hawkes who gave terrific performances in films like "Winter's Bone" and "Martha Marcy May Marlene" where he was Jennifer Lawrence's loner brother and a deranged cult leader haunting Elizabeth Olsen. Helen Hunt is memorable as the sex surrogate to whom O'Brien turns to help him achieve his dream of sexual intimacy with a woman. A professional as well as a wife and mother she doesn't hesitate to take exception with the notion that she is some kind of prostitute and clearly she isn't. William H Macy is the local parish priest whom O'Brien a devout Catholic relies on for advice and encouragement. There's plenty of wry humor watching Macy trying to figure it all out as he knows he's in uncharted waters. Based on a magazine essay director/writer Ben Lewin handles this unusual subject matter with great sensitivity and intelligence. This isn't some Hallmark TV movie it's a mature, honest film that isn't going to insult your intelligence. Definitely worth seeing.


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