Fox Searchlight, which snapped up Ben Lewin’s “The Sessions” (formerly “The Surrogate”) at Sundance for $6 million, holds high Oscar hopes for film, which stars John Hawkes as journalist and poet Mark O’Brien, who is afflicted with polio. (Think “My Left Foot.”) Although he lived much of his life in an iron lung and can’t move his limbs, he seeks to lose his virginity and hires a sex surrogate (a sensitive Helen Hunt). The film draws much of its plot, story, and character from O’Brien’s writing.
“The Sessions” is delicately modulated and utterly accessible, uplifting, moving and delightful to watch. (Here’s our Sundance review round-up.) There’s no question that Hawkes (who earned a standing ovation at one Sundance screening) and Hunt will be in the Oscar race, along with Lewin and William H. Macy as a supportive local priest who talks with O’Brien about his determination to have sex.
Fox Searchlight releases the film October 26, an Oscar-friendly date that will remind voters of this year’s award season indie offerings other than their other contender, “Beasts of the Southern Wild.” Like Oscar-winner “Slumdog Millionaire,” Searchlight is taking the film to Toronto for the launch of the Oscar race.
Check out the trailer here and the full new poster below.