The journey for “The Sessions” is nearly over, but it has been one helluva ride. Premiering in January 2012 at the Sundance Film Festival, the film by writer/director Ben Lewin left Park City with considerable buzz, which Fox Searchlight continued to build over the course of the year, culminating in Golden Globe and Indie Spirit nominations for stars John Hawkes and Helen Hunt, and an Oscar nod for Hunt as well. The film tells the remarkable true story of Mark O’Brien, a man afflicted by polio and confined to an iron lung who endeavors to lose his virginity via the help of a sex surrogate. It’s a fascinating and often surprisingly funny true story, but the original draft of the tale included some more fantastical elements.
In this exclusive deleted scene from the movie, we see Mark dreaming that he’s in a hospital where the disabled patients are ordered to work with their sex surrogates, instead of doing their usual rehabilitation exercises. It’s easy to see why the sequence was cut from the film — it doesn’t exactly mesh well with the realistic drama — but the scene was inspired by a segment from Mark O’Brien‘s article “On Seeing A Sex Surrogate” that was the basis of the screenplay. Here’s the excerpt:
Why do rehabilitation hospitals teach disabled people how to sew wallets and cook from a wheelchair but not deal with a person’s damaged self-image? Why don’t these hospitals teach disabled people how to love and be loved through sex, or how to love our unusual bodies? I fantasized running a hospital that allowed patients the chance to see a surrogate, and that offered hope for a future richer than daytime TV, chess, and wheelchair basketball. But that was my dream of what I would do for others. What would I do for me?
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Take a look at the scene below, and if you haven’t seen “The Sessions” or just want to add it to your collection, the film arrives on DVD and Blu-Ray today.