Jimmy P.: Psychotherapy of a Plains Indian

Director: Arnaud Desplechin
Year Released: 2013
Rating: 3.0

Following World War II, a Native American named Jimmy (Benicio Del Toro) returns home to the States but experiences painful headaches and visual disturbances, so he's sent to a clinic in Kansas where he's treated by George Devereux (Mathieu Amalric), who specializes in ethno-psychoanalysis (a way of tapping into Jimmy's culture/heritage as a means of healing him). While the picture does seem to be a tad flat in terms of dramatic developments - I never felt like the Del Toro character would not be 'cured' in some satisfactory way - the humanism finds a way to seep through, and Amalric's feverish, bug-eyed thinking machine provides a nice contrast to Del Toro's withdrawn soul. Perhaps in an attempt to keep this from being a hysterical affair the way many traditional Hollywood pictures have portrayed mental institutions (The Snake Pit, for example), Desplechin might be accused of being a bit too purposely passive, but his serious treatment of psychoanalysis and his investigation into a race of people largely ignored by cinema (other than as 'savages' and the 'enemy') is refreshing.