From an industry perspective, nominations are always good for business, but I also think it’s a good thing that extra light was shed on this movie because of its nomination. It’s based on a true story and stars John Hawkes as a man with polio who lives the majority of his life in an iron lung and Helen Hunt as the professional sex surrogate who helped him lose his virginity.
The film is as gentle as it is powerful, and it certainly brings sex, religion and disability up against each other and into focus in a way not usually depicted in US cinema. It’s real and honest and it’s beautiful too.
Writer-Director Ben Lewin and his wife, Producer Judi Levine, had left the business simply because work had dried up — it’s something that happens in the film industry, though not often publicly discussed.
In a very good interview on KCRW’s The Business, they tell the improbable story of how ‘The Sessions’ came to be, casting and disabilities, and the chemistry between actors and cinematographers.
LISTEN to Ben Lewin and Judi Levine FOR FREE on KCRW’s The Business.
Follow KCRW on Twitter.