not for kids
Mature but deeply powerful look at sex and the disabled.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Sessions' story about a man in an iron lung who decides to explore his sexuality with the help of a professional "sex surrogate" isn't appropriate for younger teens. But for mature older teens and adults, it's a film filled with compassion and hope that could provide a lesson about what sex and love mean and what they can bring to anyone's life when approached in a healthy manner. Expect plenty of nudity (including brief glimpses of a woman's private parts and breasts, as well as longer shots of her backside) and frank conversations about sex acts, orgasm, and more. Language is infrequent but includes "f--k" and "s--t."
- Families can talk about how The Sessions presents sex. What messages is it sending about sex as a part of life? As a part of a relationship? Parents, talk to your teens about your own values on these topics.
- Had you ever heard of a sex surrogate before? Why do you think someone might choose this profession?
- The Sessions also examines a man's relationship with God. How is it depicted here? How does it compare to how Hollywood has handled the subjects of faith and God in other movies?
The good stuff
Messages: The film is compassionate and sensitive to the triumphs and challenges that the disabled community faces. Without condescending, it reminds audiences that everyone has needs and desires that deserve acknowledgement and fulfillment.
Role models: Mark O'Brien, a real-life poet and journalist who survived only with the help of an iron lung, is the inspiration for this film, and he's depicted here as a graceful, thoughtful man with much to offer the world. His surrogate soothes his concerns and treats their relationship like any other that requires trust and communication. She also tries to understand what it's like for him to be tied to the iron lung. To her, he's not just a case, nor is he an outsider. She treats him with respect.
What to watch for
Violence: Not an issue
Sex: A woman's private parts are briefly visible, and her breasts are shown. Her backside is seen often, and there are glimpses of pubic hair. The two main characters are shown attempting to have sex, mostly from the waist up, while discussing what they're doing and how it feels. Frank sex talk throughout, including references to orgasm.
Language: One use of "f--k," plus "s--t," "d--k," "crap," "ass," "damn," "oh my God," and more.
Consumerism: Not an issue
Drinking, drugs and smoking: Not an issue
Fan Reviews provided by
Best Film in a Long Time by HighAnxiety
Saw this at a film festival and loved it. SO funny! Can find nothing wrong with it. Some people may be turned off by the nudity- although, for once, it's relevant. All of the actors are fantastic, especially those in non-lead roles. William Macy's facial expressions are genius. I think all adult age groups would enjoy this film, but maybe not those people who are offended by graphic sexual language and nudity.
Seesions by fasteaumovies
Fantastic movie. Has perfect pitch on a subject that could easily been either maudlin or prurient. Great writing. Hawkes, Helen Hunt and the priest(forgot his name) were all just wonderful. Very moving. An affirmation of life.
The Sessions by 13 samantha
Helen Hunt was great & has great body. The film was funny, sad and at the same time had this bright outlook about it that you couldn't help but totally enjoy the two characters.. We enjoyed it greatly. I think a lot of neurotic[s] need to go see this. Great film.
Sweet, Funny, Touching, Sad and Erotic and Mature by DurWi
The Sessions was an incredibly sweet, sad, uplifiting and funny movie about love and sexuality under the most difficult circumstances. Incredibly erotic but not in any way pornographic. Well written, well acted, well produced. There are no cheap shots in this movie, no crudeness, and no simple answers given. For mature audiences. This is for those who are mature not only in age but in outlook on life.
The Sessions by rickejjt
Beautiful performances by Hawkes, Hunt, and Macy in this sweet, honest, subtle and tasteful portrayal of the experience of journalist and poet Mark O'Brien. His story provided inspiration on so many levels. the supporting cast also added humor, emotion and intensity. Will see this movie multiple times! Excited to see the Oscar Nominations that come out of this. Perhaps a Best Actor and Best Actress Nod?
Stunningly Honest, Exceptional Story, Unique and Completely Engaging. by Alon Patterson
Pairing Bill Macy and Helen Hunt for starters, now there's some real screen chemistry. Too bad their characters never interact, but that doesn't diminish this play one iota. Its frankness and honesty about an altogether extraordinary life situation is not only surprising, it?s downright refreshing. This is DEFINITELY for mature audiences and even among that group, some will find this movie uncomfortable to experience, more so to actually watch. Still, no judgments are fair except your own. Is it entertaining? Yes. Is it worth the price of a ticket? Yes. Is it an action filled blockbuster brimming with superheroes, dead presidential types or supernatural bloodsuckers? No. On the other hand, it's just as entertaining, to the right audience. You may or may not be one of them but for my part, I liked this film. Leave the kids at home or everyone will think you?re an idiot. Otherwise, see it. You won't be disappointed.
Awkward by dscar11
While parts of this movie were very interesting and moving the sex scenes in it were totally awkward. Not to mention I didn't realize until the end that I was in the movie with 6 other people. All of them over the age of 65. The experience just was kind of strange. Everything prior to the session I enjoyed. I also really liked the main character. But I would not recommend this movie to anyone else to go and see.
Sessions a dissapointment by nutley-frisbee
Had great press and previews. Very dissapointing. I would give it a 65 on RT.
1. No character development, no idea why Helen Hunt feels as she does, nor do we get any backstory of the life of JOhn Hawkes. Or how does JOhn Hawkes support himself ?
2. Its a touching story but very shallow.
No idea what the big whoop is with this movie.
Sessions by peacenik1970
Great true story about overcoming obstacles. John Hawkes creates an Oscar caliber performance. Helen Hunt is good also.
This movie is about sex and connection and is for thoughtful adults.
The Sessions by janhatch
Really touching and beautifully acted film. A difficult topic with a beautiful storyline. My husband and I both loved it and so does everyone else we know who has seen it!