THE SESSIONS

USA, 2012 (MIFF 2012, International Panorama)

Director: Ben Lewin

“A film of tenderness and humor married to the unlikeliest of subjects, The Sessions presents [this] story of poet and polio survivor Mark O'Brien… an exceptional, expertly acted crowd-pleaser.” - Variety

Mark (John Hawkes, Martha Marcy May Marlene, MIFF 11) has polio and wants to lose his virginity before his impending death. Being a religious man, Mark confides in Father Brendan (William H Macy) about his desires. The priest assures him God will “look the other way” when Mark seeks the aid of a ‘sex surrogate' (Helen Hunt).

Based on the real-life events of respected American writer Mark O'Brien, The Sessions is a heart-warming film about the need for closeness. The performances, dialogue and naturalistic portrayal of bodies add to a sense of feel-good realism that made it a smash-hit at Sundance, where it won the Audience Award (US Dramatic) and a Special Jury Prize for Ensemble Acting.

With The Sessions, Melbourne-bred director Ben Lewin (The Favour, The Watch and the Very Big Fish, MIFF 92; Hollywood Gold, MIFF 03) has given us a tender, graceful film about emotional growth, anchored by extraordinary performances from Hawkes and Hunt.

"One of the gems of this year's (Sundance) festival… John Hawkes delivers a mesmerising performance." - The Guardian

Ben Lewin and Judi Levine are guests of the festival.

D/S Ben Lewin P Judi Levine Dist Twentieth Century Fox TD DCP/2012


See also...

THE FAVOUR, THE WATCH AND THE VERY BIG FISH

... ... Featuring a stunning cast and the assured hand of director Ben Lewm, The Favour, The Watch and The Very Big Fish is a surreal and romantic comedy based on Marcel Ayme's book Samt-Sulplice. Thi... More »

THE CASE OF CRUELTY TO PRAWNS

Ben Lewin (whose Welcome to Britain was shown in the 1976 Festival) made a lighthearted television comedy from an actual court case in Scotland, which attracted attention from newspapers ranging from ... More »

WELCOME TO BRITAIN

Half a mile from London's Heathrow airport, a wire enclosed compound holds visitors from Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, East Africa and Cyprus, who arrived without an immigration permit. ... Amidst the ... More »

HOLLYWOOD GOLD

Australian director Ben Lewin's fascination and obsession with jewellery was spawned during the production of his film The Favour, The Watch, and the Very Big Fish. It all started with a watch that Je... More »

BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD

“One of the most striking films ever to premiere at the Sundance Film Festival.” - Hollywood Reporter ... Set in the lush southern Louisiana bayou, where six-year-old Hushpuppy lives with her father, ... More »

KEEP THE LIGHTS ON

“[Breaks] new ground in contemporary American gay cinema.” - Hollywood Reporter ... From American director Ira Sachs (Forty Shades of Blue, MIFF 05) comes the story of two men who fall in love in 1997... More »

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