A handful of quick thoughts on Jimmy P. (Psychotherapy of a Plains Indian)

Saturday May 18th 2013

There’s a title card on the front of Arnaud Desplechin’s Jimmy P. (Psychotherapy of a Plains Indian) indicating that the film — a portrait of the relationship between a Native American war veteran (Benicio Del Toro) and his French psychoanalyst (Mathieu Amalric) — is based on a true story. They needn’t have bothered: like so many of its ‘actual events’ brethren, the film’s far too banal to be fiction.

It’ll be interesting to see how distributors around the world tackle the issue of the film’s amazingly clunky title. They could revert to its more utilitarian working title Jimmy Picard (the full name of Del Toro’s character) or drop the particulars entirely and go for Psychotherapy of a Plains Indian, which has a touch of War Horse literalism to it. On the other hand, maybe only the current title, with its baggy parenthesis and awkward medial full stop, can fully convey just how graceless the film really is.

I realised ten minutes into the screening that I could have been down the road watching Blue Ruin, rather than the worst film of Cannes 2013 so far. :(