Adapted from the 1951 non-fiction account by psychoanalyst Georges Devereux, “Psychotherapy Of A Plains Indian,” the film follows the true story of Picard, a Plains Indian of the Blackfeet nation, as he returns from WWII and begins experiencing unexplainable symptoms shortly thereafter.
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Very strange film, quite frustrating : It's soft and warm as a fire with Marshmallow, it never puts you off your limits nor questions you very much. It's a comfy warm blanket to spend a few hours under, no risks. Frustrating because you feel there is so much more to be done, so many delightful hints or ideas that could be explored, maybe. There is something very nice and intriguing to it, but it feels too comfy.
I'm not going to deny it's stilted at times, or that it plumbs some familiar territory, but the takeaway is lovely and mysterious. I think it's getting panned and lowballed because it's a "process" movie, and English language movies with movie stars are expected to be results-driven.
An intelligent and subtle drama. The relationship between the two male leads is gently understated and allows a deep respect and chemistry to show through. Strong believable performances, although I found it hard to stay emotionally engaged with the characters. Also the film did feel stilted much of the time.
A beautifully acted film and an unusual one in that it refuses to simplify the psychoanalytic process, leaving it oblique, ambiguous. Both del Toro and Amalric work with and off each other beautifully and gently as they each wrestle with their respective senses of integrity. Desplechin provides a warm snapshot of the historic Menninger Clinic and treats his subject with restraint and compassion.