The Sessions, out Oct. 19, is a love story like none other. The film stars John Hawkes (Contagion, Winter’s Bone) as Mark O’Brien, a man, paralyzed from the neck down, who decides at age 38 that he wants to lose his virginity. Helen Hunt, in a smart, heart-warming performance, plays the sex surrogate who helps him do the deed; and William H. Macy is Mark’s priest and confidante.
The film, based on a true story, wowed the crowds at festivals this year: At Sundance, it won the Audience Award and the Special Jury Prize for Ensemble Acting (Drama); at the Toronto Film Festival, it received three standing ovations. Both Hunt and Hawkes seem headed toward multiple award nominations. Go see it, and you’ll understand why—thanks to them, The Sessions achieves the perfect balance of dark humor and tear-jerking sweetness.