Actors: Benicio Del Toro, Mathieu Amalric
Director: Arnaud Desplechin
Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Widescreen, NTSC
Subtitles: English, Spanish
Number of discs: 1
Studio: MPI HOME VIDEO
DVD Release Date: June 17, 2014
Run Time: 117 minutes
Jimmy P. is a buddy-therapy film, belonging in the extremely small sub-genre of films that would also include Good Will Hunting and Antwone Fisher. That the narrative and characters are borrowed from real-life events is almost disappointing, because of how little actually happens within the narrative. Even the friendship between the two leads feels glossed over, which is odd considering the plot contains little other than their sessions together. Everyone does their job well. The direction from Arnaud Desplechin (A Christmas Tale) is competent, the acting by Benicio Del Toro is appropriately soulful, and Mathieu Amalric brings buoyancy to his role despite being cast against type. With all of these talented elements, Jimmy P. still never manages to blend into a complete package.
The film follows the mysterious unexplained medical condition of World War II veteran and Native American Blackfoot Jimmy Picard (Del Toro). Today his ailments might easily be diagnosed as post-traumatic stress, but at the time it was somewhat of a mystery. Despite physical symptoms, the doctors are not able to find anything medically wrong with Jimmy, bringing in French anthropologist and Native American researcher Georges Devereux (Amalric) to help find a psychological explanation for his suffering.
Each of the individual scenes in Jimmy P. showcases some intelligent writing and competent acting, but there is no natural progression to show the healing process. Each of the scenes feel disjointed in grand scheme of the plot, never providing any direction for the narrative of the film. We are left with a series of individual therapy sessions which are intriguing, but a film that feels ultimately pointless. The difficulty with finding a way to show mental improvement over time is ultimately the aspect of the storyline which Desplechin never manages to convey properly.
The DVD includes a making-of featurette, along with some interviews and the theatrical trailer.
Entertainment Value: 5.5/10
Quality of Filmmaking: 7/10
Historical Significance: 4/10