John Hawkes is not exactly an everyday name, despite the fact that the talented character actor has been plying his trade for years now already. He really only came to most people’s attention with his magnetic turn in Winter’s Bone.
That performance earned him an Oscar nomination, and if the buzz out of Sundance is to be believed, he’s about to be up for another one for his role in The Sessions, which sees him as real life journalist and poet Mark O’bien, who at 38-years old decided to lose his virginity, despite being confined to an iron lung due to polio.
Well, Steve Carrel getting his chest waxed, this certainly is not. From that trailer, the film certainly seems to be a bitter-sweet slice of humanity, with the only concern being that writer/director Ben Lewin might just let it slip too much into the sweet side. But most reports indicate that he pulls off that balancing act admirably, allowing Hawkes to turn in an incredibly memorable performance. And after always playing the supporting role for so long, it’s good to see the actor take the spotlight for a change. He certainly has also surrounded himself with a great supporting cast, especially Helen Hunt who we haven’t really seen in a significant role in a while.
As an hilarious aside though, the role of O’brien’s therapist is being played by Moon Bloodgood, undoubtedly a stunning looking woman, but in a very downplayed role. It seems that Ben Lewin must have been watching way too much Not Another Teen Movie because he figured out the secret to frumpiness: glasses and a ponytail!
Based on the poignantly optimistic autobiographical writings of California-based journalist and poet Mark O’Brien, “The Sessions” tells the story of a man confined to an iron lung who is determined at age 38 to lose his virginity. With the help of his therapists and the guidance of his priest, he sets out to make his dream a reality.
Last Updated: July 3, 2012