THE SESSIONS (2012) [feature]

USA (MIFF 2012 , International Panorama)
Director: Ben Lewin

“A film of tenderness and humor married to the unlikeliest of subjects, The Sessions presents [this] story of poet and polio survivor Mark O'Brien… an exceptional, expertly acted crowd-pleaser.” - Variety

Mark (John Hawkes, Martha Marcy May Marlene, MIFF 11) has polio and wants to lose his virginity before his impending death. Being a religious man, Mark confides in Father Brendan (William H Macy) about his desires. The priest assures him God will “look the other way” when Mark seeks the aid of a ‘sex surrogate' (Helen Hunt).

Based on the real-life events of respected American writer Mark O'Brien, The Sessions is a heart-warming film about the need for closeness. The performances, dialogue and naturalistic portrayal of bodies add to a sense of feel-good realism that made it a smash-hit at Sundance, where it won the Audience Award (US Dramatic) and a Special Jury Prize for Ensemble Acting.

With The Sessions, Melbourne-bred director Ben Lewin (The Favour, The Watch and the Very Big Fish, MIFF 92; Hollywood Gold, MIFF 03) has given us a tender, graceful film about emotional growth, anchored by extraordinary performances from Hawkes and Hunt.

"One of the gems of this year's (Sundance) festival… John Hawkes delivers a mesmerising performance." - The Guardian

Ben Lewin and Judi Levine are guests of the festival.

D/S Ben Lewin P Judi Levine Dist Twentieth Century Fox TD DCP/2012

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