You’re going to be reading raves this morning for “The Sessions.” John Hawkes and Helen Hunt are headed for Oscar nominations in the lead categories. William H. Macy will be there in supporting actor. And “The Sessions” gets added to the list of potential Best Picture nominees: “Argo,” “Silver Linings Playbook,” “Lincoln,” “The Master,” “Best Exotic Marigold Hotel,” “Flight,” probably “Les Miserables” and one or two more.
Last night New York got a little mini private premiere of “The Sessions,” which played at Sundance last January as “The Surrogate.” Now it’s a Fox Searchlight movie, and about to be embraced at the box office. It’s the true story of Cheryl Cohen, a sex surrogate who helped polio victim Mark O’Brien–confined most of the time to an iron lung–realize his goal of having a sex life.
Hunt is naked through a lot of the movie–yes totally naked. And she has nothing to be ashamed of. This is an adult movie for adults, not porn. It’s a sweet, romantic adult film. All the work is top notch.
At the premiere dinner at Osteria del Circo, there were quite a few famous women (and a couple of men) who were kvelling over “The Sessions” and its participants: Melissa Leo, Lorraine Bracco, Kathy Narducci. Celia Weston, Lois Smith, Kathy Wallach (actress daughter of Eli Wallach and Anne Jackson), John Benjamin Hickey, Richard Kind, and so on.
But who stole the show? Dr. Ruth Westheimer, of course. She stood during the Q&A at the Dolby Screening Room following the screening room, and advised Hawkes “to wear a condom” when he was having sex. (Dr. Ruth was concerned the fictional characters didn’t seem to use protection. Turns out the real people had used condoms.) She then asked him to take his shirt off. A game and bemused Hawkes promised he’d do anything she wanted — in private.