Note: This is a reprint of my review of The Sessions, formerly The Surrogate, upon its premiere at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. I’ve changed the name of the film below, but left everything else remains intact. It opens on a limited basis today and is truly one of the year’s most special films.
With 2011 being a rare exception, a Sundance award winner is almost always in the thick of awards season. And while the 2012 Sundance Film Festival has yet to bestow its awards, let alone premiere all the films, I feel confident in saying Ben Lewin‘s The Sessions will likely be in the mix for awards here and possibly next year at the Oscars.
The Sessions is the true story of Mark O’Brien (John Hawkes), a California-based journalist relegated to a gurney and iron lung because of disabling polio. At the age of 38, he’s still a virgin and, with the blessing of his priest (William H. Macy), Mark hires a sex surrogate (Helen Hunt) to remedy the problem.
While the story sounds kind of creepy, pathetic and depressing, The Sessions is exactly the opposite. It’s hilarious, brave and frank about both disabilities and sexuality. It’s a special film which had its world premiere this week in Park City, leading to what looks like a $6m deal for Fox Searchlight to distribute the film. Read more after the jump. Read More »
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Posted on Thursday, June 28th, 2012 by Angie Han
The story of a guy trying hard to get laid for the first time has been told and told again in many an R-rated comedy, but Ben Lewin‘s The Sessions isn’t American Pie or even The 40-Year-Old Virgin. Instead, it’s a truth-based drama that’s garnering serious Oscar buzz for its star, John Hawkes. The Martha Marcy May Marlene actor plays poet Mark O’Brien, who’s confined to an iron lung thanks to a long-ago battle with polio. At 38, he decides it’s time to lose his virginity, and he enlists the help of a professional sex surrogate (Helen Hunt) to do so.
The Sessions originally debuted at this year’s Sundance Film Festival under the title The Surrogate, and then briefly changed its name to Six Sessions before settling on The Sessions. But whatever it’s called, it’s proving well-loved. Germain called it “truly breathtaking” and named it one of his favorites of this Sundance 2012, and other critics have been similarly enamored. Watch the first trailer after the jump.
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Posted on Tuesday, December 20th, 2011 by Angie Han
Plenty of offices around the country have already begun winding down for the holidays, but apparently Showtime and HBO had a few things to get out of the way first. Meanwhile, Fox is still holding out on a decision on Terra Nova til the new year — though the producers are apparently feeling optimistic. After the jump:
- HBO renews Enlightened, axes Bored to Death, Hung, and How to Make It in America
- Showtime drops a trailer for Shameless Season 2
- Dexter showrunner Scott Buck talks about the finale’s climactic moments
- Homeland exec producers discuss the tense first season finale
- Terra Nova producers are “guardedly optimistic” about the show’s chances for a second season
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Posted on Friday, October 28th, 2011 by Angie Han
There’s some bad and some good in today’s TV Bits, but I’d say there’s more of the latter — more Shameless, more Homeland, more Jennifer Coolidge, and Olga Kurylenko in late ’50s Miami all count as pluses, right? After the jump:
- Showtime’s Shameless get a Season 2 trailer — and invites fans to play Truth or Dare with one of the characters
- Starz debuts a trailer for Magic City, starring Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Olga Kurylenko, and Danny Huston
- CBS gives full season orders to Unforgettable and Person of Interest
- Showtime renews freshman series Homeland
- Jennifer Coolidge signs on for CBS’ 2 Broke Girls
- Jenna Elfman boards the fifth season of DirecTV’s Damages
- Starz’ Boss loses its two showrunners
- ABC’s Pan Am gets a new showrunner
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Here’s the trailer for Dirty Girl, the film that Harvey Weinstein picked up after it debuted at TIFF last year. The mogul put on his ‘Harvey Scissorhands’ name badge when dealing with this one, having nearly 20 minutes cut out of the original 109-minute running time to bring it into the realm of a broad, more mainstream 90-minute comedy. Director Abe Sylvia reportedly likes the cut, and this first trailer for the edited version certainly suggests something broad and not terribly challenging.
Juno Temple, the rising British star who appeared in Atonement, Notes on a Scandal and Kaboom before landing a role in The Dark Knight Rises, plays a brassy, raunchy and confrontational Oklahoma high school girl in 1987. She and her in the closeted best friend (played by Jeremy Dozier, who looks like the film’s highlight) road trip to California to find the girl’s real father. Read More »
Lionsgate Films have released a second movie trailer for The Take director Brad Furman‘s big screen adaptation of author Michael Connelly‘s novel The Lincoln Lawyer. The film stars Matthew McConaughey as a lawyer who “conducts business from the back of his Lincoln town car while representing a high-profile client in Beverly Hills.” The movie co-stars Ryan Phillippe, Marisa Tomei, William H. Macy, Bryan Cranston, Josh Lucas, Trace Adkin and John Leguizamo.
Watch the movie trailer now embedded after the jump. Please leave your thoughts in the comments below.
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This morning, if someone said “You’re going to be reading movie news about two films with the word “Lincoln” in the title today,” you would have laughed in their face.
However, hot off the heels of the big news about Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln, we’ve now got your first look at footage from The Lincoln Lawyer. Not to be confused with those little blocks you played with as a kid, The Lincoln Lawyer is a murder mystery starring Matthew McConaughey, Ryan Phillippe, Marisa Tomei, William H. Macy, John Leguizamo, Michael Pena and Josh Lucas. Though Tommy Lee Jones was originally attached to direct, the job eventually went to Brad Furman, who directed 2007′s The Take.
Based on a novel by Michael Connelly, The Lincoln Lawyer looks like Primal Fear with a little more street as a lawyer who conducts business from the back of his Lincoln and gets wrapped up in a high profile case. Lionsgate will release The Lincoln Lawyer on March 18. Check it out the trailer the jump. Read More »
Two new TV trailers were released today, and coincidentally, both are for US adaptations of British TV series. The first is Shameless, Showtime’s remake of the ongoing UK show (now in its eighth season) about an alcoholic single-father and his many children that he barely takes care of. Whereas the original series dealt with British underclass and working class culture, the American update has William H. Macy as the patriarch of a working-class Chicago family contending with the recession. Emmy Rossum plays the eldest daughter, who’s tasked with holding the family together.
Developing the hour-long drama is The Company Men writer/director John Wells, who also wrote the pilot. In typical Showtime fashion, it seems like show has a touch of sleaziness to it, but that half is thankfully balanced out by what looks to be more dramatic, heartfelt character work at the center of it. It certainly has a lot of potential, and is probably a show worth keeping an eye on.
Watch the trailer for Shameless, as well as the spot for MTV’s Skins, after the break. Read More »
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