Independent Streak

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By Rachel Galvin

Poigniant, endearing, charming and laugh-out-loud funny, the heart-warming film  "The Sessions," pulls gently at the heart strings and tickles the funny bone. Shown at the Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival, this film is a must-see.

Starring Helen Hunt and John Hawkes, the plot centers around a man, Mark O'Brien (Hawkes), with polio who must be led about on a gurney by an aide during the day and, at night, must sleep in an iron lung in order to breathe. But his sense of humor melts the heart of everyone he meets.

His newest goal is to experience sex, a confession he reveals to his priest, played by William H. Macy. At first, Macy is hesitant to allow such an experiment, but eventually he not only gives in, but becomes enthralled with stories of his attempts to find love. O'Brien seeks the aide of a sexual surrogate, Cheryl (Hunt), who tries to be all business, but soon finds she succumbs to his charms, much to the chagrin of her husband.

This is a film that should win awards and that should be seen. For those in the audience, it seemed to reach out to all ages and genders and left the audience in stitches during the movie and possibly a bit misty-eyed at times, but what makes this film so masterful is the sense of optimism and quest to live life no matter the obstacles. This is based on a true story and an extraordinary individual.

P.S. Helen Hunt gets naked... a lot.

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