Director: Ben Lewin
Screenwriters: Ben Lewin
The quest for love appears insurmountable when a man confined to an iron lung determines, at age 38, to lose his virginity. Based on the autobiographical writings of Berkeley, Californiaâ€“based journalist and poet Mark Oâ€™Brien, The Surrogate chronicles his attempt to transcend the limbo between childhood and adulthood, in which he is literally trapped. With the blessing of an unusual priest and support from enlightened caregivers, the poignantly optimistic and always droll Oâ€™Brien swallows his fear and hires a sex surrogate. What transpires over a handful of sessions transforms them both. Rivetingly, sensitively, and humorously portrayed by John Hawkes and Helen Hunt, the coupleâ€™s clinical exercise becomes a tender, awkward, and gracious journey from isolation to connectionâ€”corporal and spiritual.
This poetâ€™s extraordinary story resonates with the elegance and precision of a poem. No line in The Surrogate is extraneous, no frame accidental. Filmmaker Ben Lewin's masterful brushstrokes endow every character with fullness and authenticity, fashioning rich metaphors and emotional nuance and fusing them into an exquisite, unforgettable awakening.
- U.S. Narrative Feature Films
- 2012, Sundance Film Festival
- U.S.A., 98 min.
- Audience Award Dramatic, Special Jury Prize for Ensemble Cast