The Sessions

The Sessions

The Sessions

Audience Award winner at Sundance 2012, the story of a man (John Hawkes), paralysed from the neck down, determined to lose his virginity at the age of 38 – with the help of a sex therapist (Helen Hunt) and the guidance of his priest (William H. Macy). Based on the true story of California-based journalist and poet Mark O'Brien who became paralysed and confined to an iron lung due to polio.

Audience Award (Dramatic) and Special Jury Prize (Dramatic Acting) at Sundance Film Festival 2012.
2012Rating: MA15+, for strong sexuality including graphic nudity and frank dialogue94 minsUSA
ComedyDramaTrue Story & Biography

Streaming (3 Providers)

The Sessions / Reviews

Total Film

Total Film

Aided by committed, awards-ready performance, 'The Sessions' transforms 'taboo' subject matter into a humorous, humane and uncomplicated pleasure.

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Time Out

Time Out

The real heat of 'The Sessions' comes from its pitch-perfect sense of place, the free-spirited Berkeley of the 1980s.

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The New York Times

The New York Times

A pleasant shock: a touching, profoundly sex-positive film that equates sex with intimacy, tenderness and emotional connection instead of performance, competition and conquest.

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The Guardian

The Guardian

The transactions, O'Brien's growing self-awareness and the effect on those around him are explored with grace, humour and tenderness.

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Roger Ebert

Roger Ebert

Mark is played by John Hawkes, who has emerged in recent years as an actor of amazing versatility. What he does here is not only physically challenging, but requires timing and emotion to elevate the story into realms of deep feeling and, astonishingly, even comedy.

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Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles Times

In a country that embraces cinematic violence with such ease but blushingly prefers to keep sex in the shadows or under the sheets, the grown-up approach of "The Sessions" is rare.

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Hollywood Reporter

Hollywood Reporter

At once entirely frank and downright cuddly in the way it deals with the seldom-visited subject of the sex lives of people with disabilities, this well-acted and constructed film will, at the very least, turn the spotlight on this unusual topic.

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Box Office Magazine

Box Office Magazine

The emotional journey is articulated with so much nuance, and such a vigorous belief in human possibility, that everything [The Sessions] touches becomes its own, and is made new.

Full review

The Sessions / Trailers