Director: BEN LEWIN

95 minutes, U.S.A., 2011, Colour, D-Cinema

In this witty and touching true-life story we meet the remarkable Mark O’Brien, who’s graduated from university, works as a journalist and writes poetry – notwithstanding the childhood polio which has left him paralysed from the neck down, and spending most of his life in an iron lung.

Losing his virginity is the next challenge for this irrepressible 30-something, as writer-director Ben Lewin (himself a polio survivor) tackles unlikely subject matter with a winning combination of breezy candour and big-hearted empathy. His performers do him proud too, John Hawkes convincing in his physicality and bringing a crucial sparkle to O’Brien’s often wicked humour, while Helen Hunt proves fearlessly caring in the challenging role of the sex therapist who takes a hands-on approach to her clients’ welfare. (Notes by Trevor Johnston.)

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