The Sessions tells the remarkable, funny, heartfelt and optimistic story of California-based journalist and poet Mark O’Brien (John Hawkes, in an award-worthy performance), a man who lived most of his life in an iron lung after having survived a bout of childhood polio. At age 38, Mark becomes determined to lose his virginity and sets out to make his dream a reality by hiring a sex surrogate (Helen Hunt), who becomes as deeply moved by the experience as he is. From writer/director Ben Lewin, the film also stars William H. Macy, Moon Bloodgood, Rhea Perlman, W. Earl Brown, Robin Weigert and Adam Arkin.
At the film’s press day, actor John Hawkes talked about how he maintained the body curvature necessary for the role, what it was like to be confined in the iron lung, the challenge of only having his face to convey his entire emotional performance, exploring the sex surrogate relationship with co-star Helen Hunt, and the responsibility of honoring someone’s memory. Check out what he had to say after the jump.
We posted the first teaser trailer for Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln earlier this week in anticipation of the full trailer being released during the Google + Q&A. Now that the full trailer is online, we finally get a chance to hear Daniel Day-Lewis speak as Abraham Lincoln. If I’m being honest, his choice of tone and inflection is not exactly what I had expected, but who am I to tell Day-Lewis what to do? There are plenty of scenes in the legislative houses, on the streets and on the battlefield, and they all give a sense of scope and tone to the film, just like Spielberg said it would during the Q&A.
Hit the jump to watch the trailer. The film also stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt, David Oyelowo, Sally Field, Tommy Lee Jones, James Spader, John Hawkes, Michael Stuhlbarg, David Strathairn, Walton Goggins, Tim Blake Nelson, Bruce McGill, Jackie Earle Haley, Lee Pace and Jared Harris. Lincoln opens on November 16th. [Update: We added 7 new images after the jump]
A bit of a release date shuffle today and man are these titles hard on my lisp:
- Sinister, the horror thriller from director Scott Derrickson and starring Ethan Hawke and Juliet Rylance moves back a week from October 5th to October 12th, 2012.
- The Sessions, from director Ben Lewin and starring John Hawkes, Helen Hunt and William H. Macy moves up from October 26th to October 19th, 2012.
- The Starbuck remake by Ken Scott (the writer/director of the original 2011 film) has been bumped from September 28th of this year to March 29th, 2013. Starbuck stars Vince Vaughn, Chris Pratt and Cobie Smulders.
Hit the jump for synopses and posters.
The first teaser trailer for director Steven Spielberg‘s Lincoln has been released. The teaser comes just days ahead of the first full trailer and live Google+ Q&A with Spielberg and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. The teaser gives us our first look at Daniel Day-Lewis in motion, though we only see glimpses of him as the titular President. There’s also a shot of who appears to be David Oyelowo dressed in Union attire as he turns and walks away from Lincoln. A narration of the Gettysburg address plays over scenes of Civil War combat, but who is speaking remains unclear for the moment.
Hit the jump to watch the trailer. The film also stars Sally Field, Tommy Lee Jones, James Spader, John Hawkes, Michael Stuhlbarg, David Strathairn, Walton Goggins, Tim Blake Nelson, Bruce McGill, Jackie Earle Haley, Lee Pace, and Jared Harris. Lincoln opens on November 16th.
The first clip from The Sessions has gone online. The movie stars John Hawkes as writer and poet Mark O’Brien, whose body was ravaged by polio when he was a child and stuck him in an iron lung for the rest of his life. However, he still wanted to have sex and intimacy, and so he found a sexual surrogate (Helen Hunt) to help him learn the intricacies of intercourse. This debut clip explains how Hunt’s character isn’t a prostitute even though O’Brien pays her for sex. It also provides a glimpse of the excellent performances from Hawkes and Hunt. I caught the movie at Sundance (back when it was called The Surrogate) and though it was really terrific, so I can’t wait for more people to get a look at it.
Hit the jump to check out the clip. The Sessions opens October 26th.
Here’s a new batch of posters to complement the ones we posted earlier today:
- A look at a Chilean martial artist, Marko Zaror, trading in his fists for a shotgun in Robert Rodriguez’s Machete Kills. The sequel, starring Danny Trejo in the title role, drops sometime next year.
- Two new Spanish posters from Rich Moore’s animated feature, Wreck-It Ralph. Featuring the voices of John C. Reilly, Sarah Silverman, Jack McBrayer and Jane Lynch, Wreck-It Ralph comes out on November 2nd of this year.
- An official poster for The Sessions from writer/director Ben Lewin. The Sundance 2012 Audience Award Winner stars John Hawkes, Helen Hunt and William H. Macy. Look for it in theaters starting October 26th.
Hit the jump for the new posters and synopses.
Steven Spielberg‘s Abraham Lincoln movie, Lincoln, has landed a release date. We previously reported that the film would open after the 2012 Presidential election so to as avoid any accusation that the movie was making a political statement (we’ll let the trailers and other advertising allow pundits to bloviate and fill airtime draw their own conclusions). Disney has announced that the movie will open in limited engagement on November 9th before expanding nationwide on November 16th. It’s worth noting that Lincoln will still be fighting vampires, except this time it will be at the box office. The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 also opens on November 16th.
Lincoln stars Daniel Day-Lewis as the 16th President, and the all-star cast also features Sally Field, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Tommy Lee Jones, James Spader, John Hawkes, Michael Stuhlbarg, David Strathairn, Walton Goggins, David Oyelowo, Tim Blake Nelson, Bruce McGill, Jackie Earle Haley, Lee Pace, and Jared Harris. Hit the jump for a synopsis of the source material.
The first trailer for the drama The Sessions (previously The Surrogate) has been released. The movie stars John Hawkes as writer and poet Mark O’Brien, whose body was ravaged by polio when he was a child and stuck him in an iron lung for the rest of his life. However, he still wanted to have sex and intimacy, and so he found a sexual surrogate (Helen Hunt) to help him learn the intricacies of sexual intercourse. The film debuted at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year to a rapturous response, with many singling out a superb performance from Hawkes. Matt called the film “inspirational, funny, and genuinely heartwarming” in his review, and he’s actually double-blurbed in this first trailer. Hawkes, Hunt, and William H. Macy are just about as good as it gets (pardon the pun), and this trailer promises a moving, funny, and hopefully insightful film not about robots, explosions, or aliens, but about people interacting with people.
Hit the jump to watch the trailer, and you can also check out Steve’s interviews from Sundance with Hawkes and Macy if you missed them. The Sessions opens on October 26th.
One of the best-received films at this year’s Sundance Film Festival was The Surrogate. The movie stars John Hawkes as writer and poet Mark O’Brien, whose body was ravaged by polio when he was a child and stuck him in an iron lung for the rest of his life. However, he still wanted to have sex and intimacy, and so he found a sexual surrogate (Helen Hunt) to help him learn how maintain an erection, have prolonged sexual intercourse, etc. Click here to read my positive review.
Fox Searchlight has announced that they will release the film on October 26th, but it will now be called Six Sessions, which refers to the number of sessions the surrogate has with O’Brien. I can understand the change since the word “surrogate” is usually associated with pregnancy. The movie will serve as a nice bit of limited-release counter-programming against the wide release films Alex Cross, Fun Size, Of Men and Mavericks, and Silent Hill: Revelations 3D [Box Office Mojo].
Some casting news for you today, including a project in which Tommy Lee Jones (No Country for Old Men) is taking on four roles! Here they are at a glance:
- Jones is set to write, direct, produce and star in the pioneer period piece, The Homesman.
- Oscar-nominee John Hawkes (Winter’s Bone) boards the indie thriller, Too Late.
- John C. McGinley (Scrubs) is the latest addition to the Jackie Robinson biopic, 42.
Hit the jump for more on each project.
Martha Marcy May Marelene is the ultimate Sundance movie (not an insult). It offers a breakout performance by a new performer (here Elizabeth Olsen) familiar character actor faces from the supporting cast (Sarah Paulson, John Hawkes), and a strong directorial tone and style from first timer Sean Durkin. It’s also a small movie – but not in a bad way – that tells of how a woman survived the cult she was in, and how she tries to adjust to the outside world. Our review of Martha Marcy May Marlene on Blu-ray follows after the jump.
While the new season of HBO’s Eastbound & Down started this past Sunday, NASCAR’s Nationwide Series is set to kick-off at Daytona this Saturday. If you’re asking me what Kenny Powers (Danny McBride) and NASCAR have to do with each other, well then you haven’t been paying attention. HBO and Eastbound & Down are sponsoring the #50 car, driven by T.J. Bell for MAKE Motorsports.
The #50 Eastbound & Down/Make Motorsports Chevrolet features elements of Kenny Powers’ prized jet ski, The Panty Dropper, with a purple and leopard-print scheme, as well as the likeness of the “legend” himself, who also hails from Shelby, N.C.
Hit the jump to check out the images.
After being gone for far too long Kenny Powers (Danny McBride) is back, complete with a Confederate flag and marijuana leaf covered boogie board. thankfully the series is much better at keeping the laughs coming than Powers is at catching some waves in the season premiere of Eastbound & Down. We now find everyone’s favorite ballplayer in the minors in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina playing for the Mermen. Seemingly back at the top of his game (or at least as high as it can get in the minor leagues). Powers is always best when he’s cocky and arrogant, and since that’s basically all the time, having him getting a taste of success just makes it that much better. Hit the jump for more.
Led by a truly remarkable performance by John Hawkes, writer-director Ben Lewin‘s The Surrogate blew me away at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. The film’s based on the true story of Mark O’Brien, a 36-year-old poet and journalist with an iron lung, who decides that he no longer wants to be a virgin. With the help of his priest (William H. Macy) and a professional sex surrogate (Helen Hunt), we follow his amazing journey. Trust me, The Surrogates is great on so many levels (which explains why there was a bidding war; Fox Searchlight won), and it’s definitely going to be a contender at the 2013 Academy Awards. For more on the film, here’s Matt’s review.
Shortly after seeing the film, I sat down with John Hawkes for an extended interview. We talked about being at Sundance, how he prepared for The Surrogate, the responsibility of playing a real person, his preference between a few takes or a lot, and so much more. In addition, since Hawkes just worked with Steven Spielberg on Lincoln, he talked about how Tony Kushner‘s screenplay drew him to the project and what it was like to work with Daniel Day-Lewis. Hit the jump to watch.
The well-received performance by John Hawkes in Sundance’s audience award-winner, The Surrogate, has helped to land the star a role in Switch, the Jackie Brown prequel. Starring opposite Yasiin Bey (formerly known as Mos Def), the duo will portray younger versions of Louis Gara and Ordell Robbie. The same characters were respectively played by Robert De Niro and Samuel L. Jackson in Quentin Tarantino’s 1997 film, Jackie Brown. From writer/director Dan Schechter (Goodbye Baby), Switch is an adaptation of the Elmore Leonard novel, “The Switch,” which is scheduled to start production in May. Hit the jump for more.