The Sessions

Rated 5.0

A 38-year-old man (John Hawkes) decides to lose his virginity—despite the fact that he’s a quadriplegic confined to an iron lung. So he consults a priest (William H. Macy) on the spiritual aspects of his quest, and a sexual surrogate (Helen Hunt) on the physical. The story of real-life poet and journalist Mark O’Brien, who died at 49 in 1999, was the subject of an Oscar-winning 1997 documentary, and don’t be surprised if this dramatized version picks up a few more statuettes. Written and directed by Ben Lewin, the movie navigates all the pitfalls inherent in the basic situation (just imagine what Judd Apatow would have done with it!) to become truly and honestly moving, brimming with wit and warmth and sparked by powerhouse performances from Hawkes and (more quietly and even more fearlessly) Hunt.