The Sessions (Blu-ray)

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The Sessions (Blu-ray)

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Review of "The Sessions (Blu-ray)"

published 12/05/2017 | thedevilinme
Member since : 13/05/2008
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Pro Good acting
Cons Bit samey
very helpful
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Characters / Performances
Special Effects

"'Oral sex is a matter of taste'"

The Sessions  (Blue Ray )

The Sessions (Blue Ray )

Star – Helen Hunt
Genre – Romantic comedy
Run Time – 95minutes
Certificate – 18
Country – USA
Oscars – 1 nomination
Awards – 18 Wins & 63 Nominations
Amazon – £6.00 DVD £4.34 Blue Ray
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What is it with movies where the guy is paralyzed and bedridden and can only move his eyeball and the chicks throw themselves at him, just because he is fancy with the words? But Hollywood is all about hope and love and that someone will give you some, some day, regardless of your situation. It appears the twitch of a toe or the use of a conjunctive verb in the correct context is clearly a major turn on for the nurse as the girls jump on top. It’s more of the same with The Sessions.

The film is based on the writings of Mark O'Brien, a journalist and poet who was paralyzed from the neck down by polio since his childhood, breathing with an iron lung for much of his life. It stars Helm Hunt, this the second movie in which she plays a married woman involved in a relationship with a paralyzed man, the first one being The Waterdance (1992).


• John Hawkes as Mark O'Brien
• Helen Hunt as Cheryl Cohen-Greene
• William H. Macy as Father Brendan
• Moon Bloodgood as Vera
• Annika Marks as Amanda
• Adam Arkin as Josh
• Rhea Perlman as Mikvah lady
• W. Earl Brown as Rod
• Robin Weigert as Susan Fernbach
• Blake Lindsley as Dr. Laura White
• Ming Lo as Clerk
• Rusty Schwimmer as Joan


Mark O'Brien (John Hawkes) has gone through a succession of nursing assistants and home care staff in his life after contracting polio as a boy, meaning he needs an iron lung to help him stabilize his breathing most of the night and some of the day as his muscles don’t work as they should. He can’t sit upright and wheeled around on a gurney by help. One day he asks his current nurse to wheel him to church as he has a confession to make, local priest Father Brendan (William H. Macy) all ears. Mark is a witty intelligent guy and can speak well but the main thing on Marks mind is losing his virginity. He is 39 and not yet a big hit with the ladies although fell in love with his last young nurse Amanada (Annika Marks), who almost reciprocated. But she didn’t and so he seeks out the priest’s advice on pre martial sex with prostitution in mind.

But it’s his next nurse, the lugubrious Vera (Moon Bloodgood), who moves things on and suggests the services of a sex therapist, Cheryl Cohen-Greene (Helen Hunt), who isn’t, apparently, a prostitute, which she makes quite clear to Mark when she meets him for the first time. The deal is it’s no more than six sessions and by the end of them he will have had full sex and versed in the way of women and what to do. He can’t jerk off at home and tends to be premature when they wash him there and so he will and a lot of training in self control. But Mark is charming and funny and although physically fragile not long before the married 48-year-old is falling for the likeble poet and writer, and after he sends romantic poetry to her home address, husband Josh (Adam Arkin) is jealous and not happy as he can see her client is having a big effect on his misses.


Male hotel clerk: Now, come on, what kind of therapist is she?
Vera: I told you, she's a sex therapist. Today they're working on "simultaneous orgasm".
Clerk: What's that?


It’s OK but I wasn’t wowed by it. I have seen way too many of these films where words seduce women from paralyzed guys and it’s so unbelievable it’s almost silly. I’m loquacious at times but yet to meet a woman impressed by words over what you drive and earn. I’m sure it worked for the Raphaelite poets back in the day but not in the days of social media and telly.

For its $1 million it did $9 million back and clearly a film that the star, Helen Hunt, took a pay cut for as she sniffed an Oscar, as did Hawks. It was Hunt who received the Oscar nomination but no glory, losing out to Anne Hathaway for Le Mis. It was worth a shot as recent Oscars for women actors have mostly been ones for issues movies where someone is depressed or disabled. At 48 - in the movie - Hunt looks great naked although the nudity sterile and in context of the movie. Hawks performance is far better and deserved an Oscar nomination. He is the only interesting performance in it. What’s going on with William H Maceys girly long hair at 54 is anyone’s guess.

I enjoyed it enough and chuckled away here and there but the nature of Hunts professional role took away the romance and soul of the movie. The impossible love story seemed exactly that. No married woman would fall for a flaccid bed ridden man because he is good with words. I need more in this film going on to be embraced by it. In fact all of these movies make you feel a bit flat as you simply don’t feel sympathy for the disabled characters and certainly don’t want to be them. Some of you may like these types of movies and this is one of those but or me, just OK. It’s funny in places and quirky in others and certainly worth a look but just lacking something for me.

RATINGS – 7.2/10.0 (37,245votes) – 93% critic’s approval – 84% critic’s approval


Special Features

Its Blue Ray so super color and sound although not needed her. It was cheaper to buy the Blue-Ray version of Amazon Marketplace and so not a preference. You really don’t need to buy this film on Blue Ray and it has no additional extras or special features.

-Deleted Scenes-

Not that many

-Behind the Scenes-

Cast & crew talk about their movie.


Financial Times –‘Hunt is a prodigy. No other actress could have brought such easeful transparency, such a glow of givingness, such heedlessness of glamour each time she strips naked’.

Time out –"The Sessions" is a skillfully layered look at the similarities and differences between people of all walks of life’.

The NY Post –‘The Sessions is an unflinching, moving and often funny story about dignity and sexuality’.

Philadelphia Weekly –‘It's all so plodding and beige, yet giving this movie a bad review is like kicking a kitten’.

Screenanarchy –‘May sound like shameless Oscar-bait, but in truth the film is simpler than that, more small-scale, with a light and unpretentious sense of humor’.

Cinema Sight –‘Strong central performances and an endearing premise smooth over some of the more jagged edges of the script’.

The Times –‘By taking a sensitive, honest approach to this true story, breakthrough filmmaker Lewin both avoids sentimentality and keeps the focus on the inner lives of the central characters’.


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Comments on this review

  • IzzyS published 07/06/2017
    Good review.
  • aclevername published 24/05/2017
    Excellent Xx
  • Secre published 17/05/2017
    Nicely done
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Product Information : The Sessions (Blu-ray)

Manufacturer's product description

Product Details

Classification: 15 years and over

DVD Region: Blu-ray

Video Category: Feature Film

Production Year: 2015

EAN: 5039036058216

Main Language: English

Actor(s): John Hawkes, Helen Hunt, William H. Macy, Moon Bloodgood, Annika Marks

Director(s): Ben Lewin


Listed on Ciao since: 10/05/2017