When they announced the nominees for the Academy Awards this year, nothing really surprised me. Yes yes, snubs and what nots, but I had at least heard of every (American) movie on the list. Every one, but The Sessions. To be fair it was only nominated for one award, but that award is Best Actress. I mean, something crazy must be going on in that movie then, damn it.
Then I found out it was about a guy in an iron lung.
This is the best picture I could find of him in the lung. What the hell?
Originally I was mad about the concept of an iron lung, but now I am mad that there is no picture of him in the lung online. Why was I mad originally? Because, what the hell, an iron lung? Stop it. Just stop it. Iron Lungs, popular over 50 years ago, became non-existant after they fucked up Polio and got their technology on. Just popping out a movie about a guy in an iron lung wanting to lose his virginity just seems silly.
What? It’s a true story, based on the book of the guy who wrote about his life in an iron lung? Damn it. Fine. Carry on.
Mark O’Brien (John Hawkes) is in an iron lung, got the Polio when he was six, it has been a long life of laying down. He decided to become a writer, because he sure a hell couldn’t do anything else. He did poems, short stories, eventually a book on his life. Either way, he was lonely. Lonely in the pants. He was a middle aged man who hasn’t even groped a boob, let alone done the business. Hard to when you can barely move your head.
Eventually he learns about a sex surrogate. Definitely not a prostitute. Their is payment for sessions, and her job is to help him experience his sexuality, but there is a limit. The max number of sessions he can do is six, no more, certainly can do less. He gets his priest’s permission (William H. Fucking Macy), and sets up to do the business.
Who is the sex surrogate? Someone named Cheryl (Helen Hunt). She is even married, and the husband is fine with it. She leads Mark on a journey of experiencing an orgasm, full penetration, and boobs! Also, Moon Bloodgood and Annika Marks play some of his care assistants.
Spoilers – Sex Happens.
Now I know what you guys are wondering. How the hell can Helen Hunt play in a movie where he is a sex master and having sex with someone with polio. She wouldn’t get naked on camera. Would she?
Yes. Yes she would. Helen Hunt is super naked in this movie, full friggan body. And unless you are Anne Hathaway, that usually earns you a nomination.
As for the rest of the movie, it was a sweet story, if not incredible awkward. John Hawkes is probably more deserving of a nomination than Hunt, but that could just because he had a disability. We all know what happens when actors play with disabilities.
2 out of 4.