I have yet to see a movie where the protagonist is immobile that I did not like. Earlier this year I raved about The Intouchables. My Left Foot, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, and The Sea Inside are all masterpieces. You might as well add The Sessions to the list. It’s to the point where I wonder if I would have liked The Avengers if Professor X guest-starred (He’s the paraplegic superhero leader of the X-men. Don’t stop reading, non-comic book nerds! I promise the rest of the review will stay in lofty, high-brow territory).
The Sessions is about a polio victim who spends most of his day in a breathing apparatus. He can get away from this iron lung for a few hours at a time which wreaks havoc on his sex life. At 38 years of age Mark O’Brien, a deeply religious poet wants to lose his virginity. With the blessing of his priest O’Brien hires a sex surrogate who not only turns him on and gets him off, but expands her own horizons on what it means to live.
It sounds terrible, the trailer doesn’t do the movie any justice, and at times the movie feels a lot longer than its 95 minutes, but I challenge you to watch this movie with dry eyes.
Why do movies with quadriplegics or paraplegics never fail to inspire? Is it the lack of movement requires the screenwriters to write a more powerful story and causes the actors feel the need to dig deeper to express themselves? Or is it seeing someone struggle to do the mundane makes the mundane seem more meaningful? Regardless, I’m looking forward to a movie about Christopher Reeve.