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Jan Wahl Movie Review: 'The Sessions' & 'Cloud Atlas'

Tom Hanks & Halle Berry
Tom Hanks & Halle Berry in 'Cloud Atlas' (credit: Warner Bros. Pictures)

(KCBS) – KCBS Entertainment Editor Jan Wahl reviews "The Sessions," starring John Hawkes and Helen Hunt, about a man in an iron lung who will stop at nothing to lose his virginity. The second movie Jan reviews is the Tom Hanks & Halle Berry epic, "Cloud Atlas."

KCBS Entertainment Reporter Jan Wahl:


Fasten your seatbelts for an epic film that travels over 500 years. Based on the novel by David Mitchell, this wild ride unfolds in multiple timelines. There's drama, mystery, high action and romance. What makes this all work are the actors who play many roles, especially Tom Hanks. He's given support by Halle Barry and Hugh Grant.

This film is a study in the craft of acting, as well as excellent movie makeup. The same filmmakers gave us the Matrix trilogy, so the effects and visuals are imaginative. The movie is worth seeing, especially on the big screen where it belongs. There should be an Oscar for the makeup and at least some nominations for set design and Tom Hanks.

Three hats.

Cloud Atlas - Now Playing Spot 1 by Warner Bros. Pictures on YouTube


Helen Hunt & John Hawkes
Helen Hunt & John Hawkes in 'The Sessions' (credit: Fox Searchlight Pictures)


So many movies exploit sexuality or make it offensive, funny or even gross. Here is a film that makes it important to the human condition as well as touching and unforgettable.

Based on the surprisingly optimistic writing of Bay Area journalist and poet Mark O'Brien, we meet a man who has lived most of his life in an iron lung. At age 38 he is determined to experience sexuality. With the help of a sex therapist (Helen Hunt) and a priest (William H. Macy), O'Brien (John Hawkes) sets out to make this dream a reality. Hawkes is loveable and witty as O'Brien, Macy as usual excellent as he plays comedy for truth. But, it is Hunt who provides us with the dignity and honesty in this true story. Everyone involved in this movie, including writer/director Ben Lewin, deserves Oscar gold.

Four hats.

THE SESSIONS: Official Trailer by SearchlightPictures on YouTube


See Right Now: Argo & Arbitrage

Home Viewing/DVD: The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Bernie, Moonrise Kingdom, & Rock of Ages

You can hear KCBS Entertainment Editor Jan Wahl's movie reviews on KCBS All News 740AM and 106.9FM Fridays at 8:53am & 4:53pm.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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