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350 Ratings

Jimmy P: Psychotherapy of a Plains Indian

Jimmy P.

Directed by Arnaud Desplechin
France, United States, 2013


Adapted from the 1951 non-fiction account by psychoanalyst Georges Devereux, the film follows the true story of Picard, a Plains Indian of the Blackfeet nation, who underwent psychotherapy with Devereux as he returned from WWII and began experiencing unexplainable symptoms shortly thereafter.

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Jimmy P: Psychotherapy of a Plains Indian Directed by Arnaud Desplechin

Awards & Festivals

Cannes Film Festival

2013 | Nominee: Palme d'Or

César Awards

2014 | 3 nominations including: Best Adapted Screenplay

Prix Louis Delluc

2013 | Nominee: Best Film

Many reviews of the film criticized the slow dialogue scenes between Jimmy and Devereux, in which the patient provides the therapist with details of his personal history and medical treatment. I consider them to be the film’s most daring invention. These scenes don’t advance the story in a traditional sense—they deepen our understanding of the subject and the extraordinary historical conditions that brought him to this point.
July 31, 2014
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The talky, static quality of Jimmy P., along with its general tone of minimizing racism through small acts of understanding, makes Jimmy P. resemble a conscious throwback to the social-problem films of the 1940s and 50s. Even in the choice of leads — Del Toro the perennial hangdog, Amalric the twitching bundle of energy — Desplechin has arranged a sort of verbal / visual shorthand for liberal dialectics, men from radically different walks of life coming together and learning from one another.
May 10, 2014
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Once their mannered acting styles get enough time to settle, Del Toro and Amalric—the former doing a deliberately stilted, sluggishly contemplative approximation of a Native American with modern English as a second language, the latter playing an experimental professional with a history of underemployment whose new gig with Jimmy inspires a shock of giddy compassion that never subsides until their final separation—are a mesmerizing duo.
February 18, 2014
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