IFC Films’ newly released drama Jimmy P. is one of the more intriguing movies that has been released so far in 2014. On the surface, it could very easily be argued that the film is just one more piece to toss into the ever-growing pile of movies that are “based on actual events.” But as audiences will see in watching this story, the script proves it to be more than just another one of those movies. That is the most important aspect of the whole thing. Equally important to the movie’s overall success is the acting on the part of both Benicio Del Toro (Pan’s Labyrinth, Snatch, Traffic) and Mathieu Almaric (The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, Quantum of Solace, The Grand Budapest Hotel). And last but not least, the bonus material included with the DVD brings everything full circle with interviews and discussions centered on the movie’s creation. All of these noted aspects of Jimmy P. make IFC Films’ latest drama one more work that proves indie flicks are becoming increasingly more worth watching than the glut of prequels, sequels, and remakes that are polluting this nation’s theaters.
The very first shot of IFC Films’ new drama Jimmy P. superimposes the words “This is a true story” over the shot. Those five words would make it so easy to immediately toss this movie into the ever-growing pile of works that are “based on actual events.” But those that give the movie a chance will see that it is in fact not just another of that genre of films. So many movies within that genre are little more than overly embellished tear jerkers about underdog figures overcoming great odds. Jimmy P. is the polar opposite of those stories. It is a completely unadorned film that is centered on the relationship between Dr. Georges Devereux and his patient Jimmy Picard, played respectively by Almaric and Del Toro. It follows Devereux’s personal growth from a man largely considered a quack to a far more respected figure in the psychiatric community thanks to his psychoanalysis of Picard. At the same time, it also follows Picard’s own personal growth and recovery from what proves to be a lifetime of emotional trauma due to some rather eye opening events. What’s more interesting about the movie is that much of the movie was taken directly from Devereux’s own personal notes from his sessions with Picard. Was there some embellishment with the story? More than likely. But odds are if there were, it would be safe to say that they were far fewer than most movies that are “based on actual events.” And that is always a good thing especially in the case of movies within that genre.
Jimmy P. doesn’t fit nicely into the standard mold of movies that are “based on actual events” is a good starting point for the movie’s script. It isn’t the only positive to note regarding this rather deep story. The acting on the part of co-stars Benicio Dle Toro and Mathieu Almaric is just as impressive. There’s almost something hypnotic about Del Toro’s acting for lack of better wording. His portrayal of Jimmy is so subtle that one can’t help but watch him. And Almaric’s portrayal of Dr. Devereux is just as impressive. It would have been so easy for either of the men to ham it up in their roles. But it’s obvious just how seriously both men took their roles just by watching their acting. This is especially evident late in the story when Devereux confronts the head of the hospital about requesting specific information regarding Jimmy and it being denied. That is one of those moments that could have so easily been pushed over the top. But Almaric didn’t go that route. He showed such depth of emotion in this scene. It’s but one of a number of moments that could serve as examples of the seriousness with which the pair took its roles. That solid acting served to make this latest offering from IFC even more worth the watch.
Both the acting on the part of Del Toro and Almaric, and the story’s relatively original script play equally important roles in the overall success of Jimmy P. As integral as those factors prove to be to the movie’s success, there is still one more factor to the overall presentation that makes it worth checking out. That final factor is the collective bonus material included on the DVD. The DVD’s bonus material is comprised mainly of interviews with the movie’s cast and director. The truly interesting thing of the bonus interviews included with this DVD is that considering the depth of the story, one would actually be encouraged to watch the bonus interviews before watching the movie. It will actually be beneficial in that it will better help to outline exactly the point of the story. That understanding will make for more appreciation of the story in the long run. That being the case, the interviews are less bonus material than necessary additions to the overall presentation. They bring everything full circle and make the presentation that is Jimmy P. complete and completely worth watching at least once.
Jimmy P. is available now in stores and online. More information on this and other titles from IFC Films is available online at http://www.facebook.com/IFCFilmsOfficial and http://www.IFCFilms.com. To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.