The Sessions

Rated 4.0

John Hawkes delivers a remarkable performance as Mark O’Brien, a man rendered virtually motionless by polio and looking to lose his virginity in his late 30s. He contacts a sex therapist (played by an often very naked Helen Hunt) that guides him through the ways of fornication and also becomes his friend. Hawkes does most of his acting from the head up, and he’s never anything less than totally convincing as O’Brien (an actual journalist who lived in Berkeley, Calif.). He should easily find himself in contention with the likes of Daniel Day-Lewis for this year’s best acting Oscar. As for Hunt, it’s the best work she’s done in many a year. William H. Macy brings great humor to the film as Mark’s priest and confidant. This is one of the movie year’s more pleasant surprises.