The Sessions

Composed By: Marco Beltrami

Distributed by: Lakeshore Records

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


                Based on the autobiographical essays of journalist and poet Mark O'Brien, The Sessions features John Hawkes as O'Brien, who, due to complications from polio, must depend upon an iron lung for survival.  Paralyzed from the neck down, Mark has never had sex.  After an unsuccessful proposal to his caretaker at the age of thirty-eight, sensing the end is near, Mark decides it is long past time he lost his virginity.  After consulting his priest (William H. Macy), Mark hires a sex therapist (Helen Hunt) with the intent of making his dream a reality, but Mark is wholly unprepared for what happens next.

                The musical score of The Sessions was created by American composer Marco Beltrami, who scored his first feature film, Death Match, in 1994.  Since then, he has become a much sought-after composer creating the musical scores of such notable films as the Scream series, Mimic, The Faculty, Tuesdays with Morrie, Resident Evil, Terminator III: Rise of the Machines, Hellboy, 3:10 to Yuma, Max Payne, The Hurt Locker and more.

                The music of The Sessions is quite beautiful with a central orchestral theme.  Focusing mainly on piano, woodwinds and some strings, one can immediately sense the emotional plight of the main character, especially in the track Breathing, in which woodwinds agonizingly express the sounds of the iron lung O'Brien needs to survive.  Despite the sadness of this track and that of Rejection, I found the score of The Sessions to be quite uplifting.  My favorite track is Mark's Kiss in which the central theme is taken on by various solo instruments, including the violin, the flute, the clarinet and the piano.  This is the most positive sounding uplifting track on the album and fitting for the last track of the album.

                The Sessions Soundtrack is a perfect display of classical music set to a modern theme.  Marco Beltrami has a way with music.  Be it a score for a horror film, a sci-fi feature or one with dramatic undertones, Beltrami finds a way to express the deepest emotions and accentuate the visuals present in the film.  The Sessions Soundtrack is a must-listen for any fan of classical music, a great stand alone album any music lover will enjoy.


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