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Ben Lewin for ‘The Sessions’

Eye on the Oscars: The Director

Doing justice to real-life poet and polio victim Mark O’Brien, who, confined to an iron lung, hires a sex surrogate, Lewin faced the challenge of finding “the right tone and balance between the tragedy and the comedy, as iron lungs aren’t very funny, and it could have become so maudlin. We filmed a couple of fantasy sequences, but in the end we never even used them, as I felt they’d just blunt the whole realistic tone the performances had established.”

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