Mark O'Brien's body was contorted by polio, and he spent most of his hours confined to an iron lung. His severe physical limitations did not prevent him, however, from becoming a poet and journalist — he learned to write by tapping keys with a stick held in his mouth — nor did they keep him from longing for one of life's most treasured experiences: sexual fulfillment. Featuring outstanding performances from a first-rate cast — John Hawkes, riveting as O'Brien, opposite Academy Award®–winner Helen Hunt and William H. Macy — THE SESSIONS relates O'Brien's quest to finally lose his virginity in his late thirties. A warm, heartfelt study in generosity and desire, it is also a rare film that acknowledges the erotic lives of people with disabilities.
Acclaimed for his sterling character work in ME AND YOU AND EVERYONE WE KNOW, MARTHA MARCY MAY MARLENE, WINTER'S BONE, Hawkes brings tremendous expressiveness to O'Brien, despite being unable to use most of his body. Macy is wonderfully droll as the permissive priest, and Hunt is radiant, compassionate and thoroughly no-nonsense. THE SESSIONS reminds us what can be achieved when we strive to overcome preconceptions.
Synopsis written by: Cameron Bailey