The Sessions
The Sessions sounds like every treacly bit of Oscar bait you've ever avoided, with a story about a man stricken with polio who not only overcomes his disability to become a renowned poet, but who dreams of having sex for the first time. And while director Ben Lewin makes the movie plenty sweet and relatable (even your grandmothers will like it, nudity and all), The Sessions is sharp and well-acted enough to avoid all of its own pitfalls, providing the kind of feel-good true story that doesn't make you feel a little guilty at the end.

You ought to see it for John Hawkes's performance alone, as the Winter's Bone star transforms himself into the polio-riddled Mark O'Brien, but gives the character such wry humor and insight that he never slips into the cliched, inspirational cripple. And believe it or not, Helen Hunt gives one of her best performances as well as the sex surrogate who helps Mark O'Brien lose his virginity. The Sessions might seem like the easy-listening of Oscar season, but it's a moving and surprisingly funny little film that-- as a bonus-- everyone who can get into an R-rated movie ought to enjoy.

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