A trailer has been released for The Sessions (formerly titled The Surrogate), which was the breakout hit and prize winner at the Sundance Film Festival this year. The film is based on the true story of Mark O’Brien, a poet who is paralysed from the neck down due to polio and has used an iron lung to breathe for most of his life. In order to achieve his independence and gain a new lease of life, he hires a sex surrogate to help him lose his virginity.
It sounds like a very indie spirited and quirky kind of film, the kind of film that serves only to really annoy you with how cute it is. Thankfully, this trailer dispels all previous qualms I had when reading about the movie, it looks to be a heartwarming treat with winning performances from a terrific cast. It also looks genuinely funny and I laughed more times through this trailer than I have through many so called comedies this year.
The wonderful John Hawkes plays O’Brien and seems to be doing a really terrific job of portraying a man who is disabled without courting too much attention to himself. This is the kind of role that usually gets Oscars but also the kind of role that usually comes across as Acting rather than realism. Hawkes looks to achieve realism.
Supporting him are Helen Hunt who plays the sex surrogate Cheryl Cohen-Greene and William H. Macy as the priest who O’Brien confides in. Both performers look to be crafting mature and human performances that seek to ground Hawkes even further as the star of the movie.
Put simply, it looks terrific and I can’t wait to see it.
The Sessions opens on October 26th. Check out the trailer below.