Contact 21st Philadelphia Film Festival & Philadelphia Film Society
1600 North 5th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19122
Marked by strong performances from Academy Award Nominee John Hawkes and Academy Award winner Helen Hunt, The Sessions is both an amusing and touching comedic drama about a childhood Polio survivor, now in his thirties and living with the help of an iron lung, who hires a professional sex surrogate to help him lose his virginity.
Running Time: 94 min. Director: Ben Lewin Cast: John Hawkes, Helen Hunt and William H. Macy
Based on the true story of California based journalist and poet Mark O’Brien (Hawkes), The Surrogate chronicles O’Brien’s determination to transcend his physical limitations to live and experience as close to a normal life as possible. Forced to spend most of his hours confined to an iron lung, and with his body contorted by Polio, O’Brien refuses to let his limitations dictate his reality. Through perseverance, O’Brien graduated college and became a poet and journalist, learning to write by tapping keys with a stick held in his mouth. When O’Brien decides that he needs to find sexual fulfillment, he turns to a sex surrogate (Hunt) to achieve this goal. Featuring outstanding performances from its incredible cast, including Hawkes, Hunt and William H. Macy as O’Brien’s priest and confidant, The Sessions is a powerful film that illustrates that limitations can be overcome and goals can be achieved through commitment and determination.