Nominated Role: Helen Hunt plays Cheryl, a sex surrogate who is hired by a polio survivor to help him lose his virginity.
Oddly enough, Helen Hunt received the only nomination from the film “The Sessions” despite John Hawkes, the real star of the film, missing out on his nomination. Granted the competition was tough this year in the Best Actor category, and against Daniel Day-Lewis, it wouldn’t have mattered much anyways, but having Hunt get nominated over Hawkes seems ill-advised. That being said, despite Hunt’s spectacular performance, her category is just as locked, meaning Helen Hunt will have to make due with her previous Academy Award win from 1997, winning the Oscar for Best Actress in a Leading Role for “As Good As It Gets”, because this year’s Supporting Actress category belongs to Anne Hathaway for “Les Miserables”, and rightfully so. Still, it is great to see Helen Hunt back in action and in such a pleasant and endearing role.
Strong performances throughout, especially from lead John Hawkes, who proves once again he is a force of nature, “The Sessions” is a thoughtful endeavor into the true life story of a man confined to an iron lung, who discovers that sexual activity is not out of his bounds. With impressive peaks and valleys of emotion and a maturity in handling a subject that could easily be tawdry and awkward, Ben Lewin delivers a fine achievement after over 15 years of inactivity. However, the film does lose me on several occasions, in that every woman that comes into contact with Mark O’Brien (Hawkes) falls in love with him, feeling much too glamorized and Hollywood romance to feel real. Helen Hunt does a fine job distancing herself from this generic love struck female persona, but still, by the end, feels lumped in with the rest. Hawkes definitely deserved to be honored for this role and one has to believe he would have been next in line to receive an Academy Award nomination this year.
// Produced by Judi Levine & Stephen Nemeth // Directed by Ben Lewin //
// Dated Viewed: Saturday, February 9th, 2013 // AMAZON PRIME // 11 films – 16 days //