Helen Hunt’s daring turn (and return) in The Sessions is earning the actress comeback whispers… and Oscar buzz.
The film, formerly titled The Surrogates, was one of this year’s best reviewed films at the Sundance Film Festival, and is the first film of the year so far to get the Oscars buzzing. In the film, Hunt plays a sex therapist, which is being called her “boldest move” on the big screen thus far in her career. Her character’s career as a sex therapist is a bit unconventional, and takes a hands-on approach. The original title of the film hints to her actual profession, a sex therapist that gets in bed with you to help you work out exactly what you’re doing wrong (emotionally, you pervs), hence the title “surrogate.”
For Hunt, she hasn’t starred in a film that’s gotten her this much critical acclaim since 1997’s As Good As It Gets, which also got her an Oscar, coincidentally.
The film is based on a true story, and pairs Hunt with a paraplegic client played by John Hawkes. For his part, Hawkes is also getting some Oscar buzz all his own, with early calls for a best actor Oscar nod. So far, the film boasts the dramatic audience award, a special jury prize for ensemble acting, and a standing ovation at Sundance t’boot.
The 49-year-old actress goes nude for the role, in which she helps Hawkes’s character lose his virginity before his health deteriorates too much for it to be possible.
The Sessions also stars William H. Macy and Rhea Perlman. It was written and directed by Ben Lewin, and is set for theaters on October 26.
Here’s a clip from The Sessions, courtesy of Yahoo!News. Below that, the trailer for your viewing pleasure.