What makes The Sessions endearing is that it tackles sexuality with delicacy and precision instead of shock and vulgarity. Sure, there are nude scenes, but they serve a purpose: to handle sex head-on.
The story is based on poet Mark O’Brien’s journey into participating in sexual surrogacy. O’Brien is physically, and effortlessly played by John Hawkes, while his sex-surrogate, Cheryl, is played with sublime subtly by Helen Hunt (my pick for Best Supporting Actress). Hawkes and Hunt are careful in balancing, and at times separating, the physical and emotional aspects of sex, and subsequently, love. It’s proof that both not only understood their roles, but the pleasurable approach to intercourse.
The fact that O’Brien was disabled is obvious, but it’s never melodramatic. Instead, it’s highlighted through his sense of humor and dedication to writing. O’Brien was an example that despite being disabled, he proved to conquer what he wanted—being religious, graduating from UC Berkeley, writing— like an able bodied person. In this case, it was losing his virginity in six sessions. A-
I fucking love this film