The Sessions

Stars: John Hawkes, Helen Hunt and William H. Macy

 Studio: Fox Searchlight Pictures

Writer-director Ben Lewin has produced a film oozing with wit, grace, poignance and charm. Lewin, a polio survivor, tells the true story of Brian Marks, a polio victim who lives in an iron lung and loses his virginity at the ripe old age of 38, thanks to the services of a professional. No, not that kind of professional — a sex surrogate. John Hawkes is stunningly good in the title role as the gimp — the character’s words. Helen Hunt plays the surrogate and William H. Macy is the compassionate priest who advises Marks in his very human quest for carnal fullfillment. Excellent performances and Lewin’s smart treatment of a topic that makes many people squirm will help The Sessions garner plenty of O-words; not orgasm, ovations and Oscar nods. Don’t miss this Sundance Film Festival hit. –p.d. lee