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, and in January 2014, three nominations at the 39th César Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Adapted Screenplay.
Benicio del Toro as Jimmy Picard
Mathieu Amalric as George Devereux, born György Dobó
Elya Baskin as Dr. Jokl
Gina McKee as Madeleine
Ricky Wayne as Dr. Braatoy
Larry Pine as Dr. Karl Menninger
Gary Farmer as Jack
Michelle Thrush as Gayle Picard
Misty Upham as Jane
A Martinez as Bear Willie Claw
Michael Greyeyes as Allan
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.
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."
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."
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."
The film was nominated for the Palme d'Or at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival. In January 2014, it received three nominations at the 39th César Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Adapted Screenplay.