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Parents' Guide to

The Sessions

By S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 17+

Mature but deeply powerful look at sex and the disabled.

Movie R 2012 95 minutes
The Sessions Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 17+

Based on 1 parent review

age 17+

Mature depictions of fully realized sexuality in disabled communities

Finally a film that depicts fully realized sexuality in disabled communities. The film does not pull any punches and it is a breath of fresh air that all people have desire and express it in a variety of ways. This film presents dignity to all around. To Hunt's character and especially Hawkes' character. the emotions feel palpable and the connections feel strong for everyone involved, emotional and narratively taut.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (1 ):
Kids say (2 ):

How can a movie full of sex not just be about sex? THE SESSIONS is transcendent, laying bare (no pun intended) the emotional and sexual needs of the disabled in a way that's universal. Mark isn't simply looking for release; he's searching for a deep and abiding connection beyond his faith. The movie follows his exploration elegantly and without judgment -- and, in so doing, elicits empathy. We aren't just watching a good, kind man attempt to have sex; we're seeing a human being try to make sense of connection and love and of the difficult card life has handed him.

Hawkes deserves nothing but praise -- and heaps of awards -- for his rich, nuanced performance. He's so believable that we forget that he's not actually reliant on an iron lung in real life; his scenes with Hunt, who's also great here (though her Boston accent is grating), feel so private, so personal, that we feel both privileged and a little intrusive watching them. Macy's addition as Mark's priest allows viewers a peek into Mark's mind without bogging down the movie. And how wonderful it is to see a pious man not painted as a sinner for discussing his urges and needs. The Sessions is a powerful, emotional lesson in grace and compassion.

Movie Details

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