Our 16-year-old film blogger Jack Bool reviews: The Sessions
08:41 22 January 2013
The Sessions has been hailed as the festival hit of 2012 and understandably so, as the film truly is brilliant and I feel extremely underappreciated.
Upon originally hearing about The Sessions and seeing various images from the movie, my immediate reaction was that it was going to be a dark and gloomy picture that revolved around the negatives of illness, however believe it or not The Sessions is a film that will genuinely touch you. It plays on basically every human emotion imaginable and instead of self-loathing; The Sessions is particularly uplifting despite the illness and desires of the central character.
Based on a true story the film stars John Hawkes as Mark O’Brien, a sufferer of polio who happens to be in an iron lung, but for the first time in his life he wishes to lose his virginity and in order to do so he contacts a sex surrogate (Helen Hunt) whilst being guided by his therapist and priest.
Now although it’s very early on in the year and I have been saying this quite a lot recently, The Sessions to me has to be one of 2013’s best films. It is as I mentioned earlier touching, sweet but it also manages to be incredibly funny. It’s full of likeable characters and the thing I find most amendable about it, is the fact that it never feels like it’s looking for sympathy. I personally feel this is a film that owes a lot to its various cast members, most noticeably John Hawkes in the leading role.
John Hawkes to me is the type of actor that doesn’t really get the recognition he deserves but as of late that really has begun to change and The Sessions is certainly one of the reasons why. In my personal opinion I do think that Hawkes has been somewhat robbed of a best actor nomination at this year’s Academy Awards as he has certainly gone to great lengths to play the character of Mark O’Brien. If my memory serves me correctly I remember reading somewhere that Hawkes had injured himself due to long periods of time laying down and that really is just an example of the dedication he shows as an actor. He is as I said likeable character and his performance in this film is great.
Whilst she may not deliver an exquisite performance in the same vein as Hawkes I think Helen Hunt definitely deserves a fair amount of praise, so in that sense I will regard her performance as very strong and I almost forget to add the two definitely go to extreme lengths with their on screen chemistry, which referring back to the plot-line should be rather self-explanatory. Finally I would like to add that although his role isn’t too large William H. Macy is equally as good as Hunt with his portrayal of Father Brendan and it’s safe to say his interaction with Hawkes is certainly the staple of the films comedic ability.
Overall The Sessions is a film that I think everyone should go and see. Despite being subjected to critical acclaim it certainly hasn’t got the recognition I feel it personally deserves. It’s funny, touching and surprisingly uplifting, as well as being superbly acted.