Jimmy P: Psychotherapy of a Plains Indian

Jimmy P: Psychotherapy of a Plains Indian

Film poster
Directed by Arnaud Desplechin
Produced by Pascal Caucheteux
Grégoire Sorlat
Written by Arnaud Desplechin
Julie Peyr
Kent Jones
Starring Benicio del Toro
Mathieu Amalric
Music by Howard Shore
Cinematography Stéphane Fontaine
Edited by Laurence Briaud
Distributed by IFC Films
Release dates
  • 18 May 2013 (2013-05-18) (Cannes)
  • 11 September 2013 (2013-09-11) (France)
Running time
120 minutes
Country France[1]
Language English
Budget $10 million
Box office $24,329[2]

Jimmy P: Psychotherapy of a Plains Indian is a 2013 French drama film directed by Arnaud Desplechin.

Jimmy P. stars Benicio del Toro as title character Jimmy Picard, a Blackfoot Native American who has returned to Montana from World War II and suffers debilitating symptoms. Mathieu Amalric, who has appeared in most of Arnaud Desplechin’s films, plays George Devereux, a French doctor of Hungarian-Jewish background. He is called in as a specialist in ethnology and psychoanalysis. Jimmy P. is primarily based on Devereux's book, Reality and Dream: Psychotherapy of a Plains Indian (1951). The film is set at a veterans' hospital in Topeka, Kansas, during the pioneering days of psychoanalysis in the United States.

Jimmy P. was released commercially in Europe in September 2013, and was released in the US and Canada in early 2014. It received a nomination for the Palme d'Or at 2013 Cannes Film Festival,[3] and in January 2014, three nominations at the 39th César Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Adapted Screenplay.[4]



Desplechin, Kent Jones, and Julie Peyr wrote the screenplay, adapted from Devereux's 1951 book. The film is set primarily at a veterans' hospital in Topeka, Kansas, where Karl Menninger was among the staff treating men after World War II. With flashbacks to Jimmy Picard's life on the reservation and in Montana, the film was shot in Michigan and Montana.

Critical reception

The film was well received in France and the United States, especially for its sensitive portrayal of Blackfoot Jimmy Picard. Matt Zoller Seitz awarded the film 3.5 out of 4 stars, commenting, "the movie offers the most psychologically complex screen portrait of a Native American character in at least twenty years, probably more" and "those who have undergone such treatment will appreciate how accurately the film portrays the process, never simplifying anything, never going for the easy dramatic epiphany, always respecting how analyst and patient circle around and around the edges of meaning."[5]

Ty Burr of the Boston Globe wrote, "Avoiding the usual therapy-drama story beats, Desplechin has made a densely satisfying drama about Freud, racism, and sympathy in its largest sense."[6]

A.O. Scott of The New York Times wrote:

"a reservoir of intensity in the two central performances, in particular Mr. Del Toro’s. He presents the spectacle of a man figuring himself out, using whatever tools are available: his ancestral culture, European science and his own intelligence. It is moving to witness, partly because, even when the film and the treatment have ended, so much remains to be done."[7]

The film was nominated for the Palme d'Or at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival.[3] In January 2014, it received three nominations at the 39th César Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Adapted Screenplay.[4]


  1. "Jimmy P. (Psychotherapy of a Plains Indian) (2013)". Retrieved 24 October 2016.
  2. "Jimmy P (2014) - Box Office Mojo". Retrieved 7 January 2016.
  3. 1 2 "2013 Official Selection". Cannes. 20 April 2013. Retrieved 20 April 2013.
  4. 1 2 "Berenice Bejo, Lea Seydoux, Roman Polanski Among France's Cesar Awards Nominees". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 1 February 2014.
  5. Roger Ebert review: Jimmy P.
  6. Rotten Tomatoes, 6 March 2014, accessed 21 August 2014
  7. Scott, A. O. (13 February 2014). "Therapist and Patient, Odd and Charming". The New York Times. Retrieved 21 August 2014.

External links

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