Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
Sundance Film Festival
Tribune Staff
The staff of The Salt Lake Tribune covers the Sundance Film Festival, on the streets of Utah and beyond.

» E-mail

» Subscribe (RSS)




Helen Hunt and John Hawkes star in "The Sessions," originally titled "The Surrogate," which premiered at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy Fox Searchlight Pictures
Sundance review: "The Surrogate"

"The Surrogate"

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

U.S. Dramatic

*** ½ (three and a half stars)

Powerful performances, sly humor, gentle sexiness and heartfelt emotion combine in this story, based on the life of journalist/poet Mark O'Brien – who contracted polio as a child and lived most of his life in an iron lung. In Berkeley in 1988, O'Brien (played by John Hawkes) draws an assignment to write about the sex lives of the disabled. While doing interviews, O'Brien decides he should, at 38, finally lose his virginity. After talking it over with his priest (William H. Macy) and a sex therapist, O'Brien enlists a sex surrogate, Cheryl Cohen Greene (Helen Hunt), who gently guides him through his first sexual experiences. Writer-director Ben Lewin draws from O'Brien's writings to capture the whimsy and deep thinking of a man who "lives in my own head" because of a failing body. Hunt brings a no-nonsense attitude (and some full-frontal nudity) to the role of the sex surrogate. But it's Hawkes' sharp performance, which nails both the physicality of O'Brien's disability and the poetic soul in his eyes, that will have Hollywood buyers plotting his 2013 Oscar campaign.

-- Sean P. Means

"The Surrogate" screens again:

  • Tuesday, Jan. 24, 8:30 a.m., Prospector Square Theatre, Park City
  • Thursday, Jan. 26, 5:15 p.m., The MARC, Park City
  • Friday, Jan. 27, 6 p.m., Tower Theatre, Salt Lake City
  • Saturday, Jan. 28, 2:30 p.m., Library Center Theatre, Park City



Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment


About Reader Comments


Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Latest Sundance Videos


Latest Sundance Multimedia
Latest Sundance Multimedia
Latest Sundance Multimedia
Latest Sundance Multimedia
Latest Sundance Multimedia


 
Jobs
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Login to the Electronic Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.