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On with the Oscar Nominee Marathon: “Prometheus” and “The Sessions”

I confined y movie watching to the small screen this week.  For one thing, I’m in the second week of a cold that keeps me up at night coughing.  That makes me tired out during the day, and not much in the mood for going out.  Besides, I prefer both of these movies on the small screen—for different reasons.

I have a hard time sitting through a “scary” movie on the big screen.  Sitting in silence in the dark with jump-out-at-you stuff going on in front of me, larger than life, full of limb-ripping violence is too much for my nerve endings.  I swear I have a norepinephrine shortage, so the adreneline keeps the synapses snapping for days after a high intensity sci-fi movie.  That said, I do like sci-fi movies and TV shows.  “Prometheus” is no exception.

Prometheus is the Greek god credited for making man from clay and giving him fire, which allowed mankind to advance their civilization.  As a punishment, Zeus bond Prometheus to a rock and sent an eagle to feed on his liver every day.  Sometimes progress has a payback that bites.

The movie opens with a humanoid abandoned on a pre-Eden planet:  picturesque and teaming with steamy waterfalls.  He promptly disintegrates and his DNA disperses into the water.  The extraterrestrial origin of man is an intriguing theory, don’t you think?  Flash forward to Noomi Repase as a zealous scientist searching for our ancestor out there somewhere and a Data-type robot named David, played by Michael Fassbender, who is conscious to keep the humans comfortable by appearing as human as possible, and already I know there is trouble ahead.

Sure there’s lots of unbelievable things that happen, taking off their helmets just because the air is breathable.  Has no one heard of microbes, toxic spores, or all the other things that happen for real on Earth and for pretend on StarTrek, StarGate, and every other space adventure shows?  Still, I had a blast watching this flick; especially because I watched it during the day, and could pause and rewind.  I also got a surprise at the end, too.  “Prometheus” is actually a prequel!  Maybe that’s a spoiler, but I’m not telling you to what movie it prequels.  By the way, “Prometheus” isn’t even billed as sci-fi.  It’s classified in the genre Horror/Thriller.

Bottom-line:  I liked this movie, and I’m happy I saw it On-demand.  That said, hardly an award winner.

Not so for “The Sesssion.”  Now here’s a story that will stay with me forever.

 Based on a true story of Mark O’Brien; actually based on an article the O’Brien wrote on sex and the disabled.  This movie is story-driven and doesn’t really need the big screen to pull me in.  Besides, Loved-One expressed no interest in paying the theatre price.

I saw a couple of comments below the YouTube trailer from people who knew O’Brien.  They were pretty miffed at how their friend’s life is distorted by imagination of the writer, and basically distilled to one aspect of O’Brien’s life.  That said, the movie tells a touching story.  O’Brien looks at his life as a blessing, recognizes the sacrifices his family made so he could have a life, and approaches obstacles filled with a faith in God.

“The Sessions” give us a glimpse of the spiritual gains each person experiences as they assist O’Brien.  Confined to an iron lung for most of the day, O’Brien does need help in almost every physical aspect of his life.  Although he seems to be the most needy person, everyone gains something from him.

Helen Hunt plays the sex surrogate with grace and dignity.  I really like how she shows emotional doubt and growth with subtle shifts in her expressions.  This could have been over-played, but she is wonderful.

But wait, why is William H. Macy left off the nominee list?  His role as the Father Brendan is superb as he hears O’Brien’s confession and provides spiritual guidance and at the same time recognizes his humanness.  Macy, after much internal conflict, delivers my favorite line:  “In my heart I feel like He’ll give you a free pass on this one.”  Me too, Father Brendan, me too.

“The Sessions” is thought-provoking, and at the same time, a sweet, uplifting story.  Loved One agreed and ended up happy I included him in my On-Demand movie watching.

 

 

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