Sex, drama and comedy are familiar ingredients for any number of movies, but those elements have never quite come together as uniquely as they do in “The Sessions.” While much of the Oscar talk over at Fox Searchlight has shifted for the time being to “Hitchcock,” which recently threw its hat in the ring with a surprise release date announcement, the indie shingle might have a couple of nominations up their sleeve with this Sundance hit.
Featuring John Hawkes in a role that is a complete transformation for the actor, he plays the polio stricken Mark O’Brien, who sets out at the age of 38 to lose his virginity with the help of a sex therapist (Helen Hunt), while enlisting spiritual guidance from his priest (William H. Macy). If it sounds far fetched, the movie is actually based on a true story that was chronicled in the 1997 Oscar-winning documentary “Breathing Lessons.” In this new clip from the movie, we see a pretty charming little heart-to-heart between Mark and his priest, as he wonders aloud why God has denied him his sexuality. It’s stirring stuff, and that it manages to be slyly humorous at the same time is a testament to the performances within.
Hawkes and Hunt are certainly contenders (we’re hearing lots of buzz around the latter), so we’ll see how this one plays as the awards season gets hotter. “The Sessions” opens on October 19th.