'Jimmy P' Trailer: Benicio Del Toro Hits the Couch in a Very Psychological Thriller

Jimmy P Film Still - H 2013

Jimmy P Film Still - H 2013

"A Christmas Tale" director Arnaud Desplechin turns talk therapy into brainy detective work in the upcoming IFC release.

A milestone case in the world of ethnographic psychoanalysis may not sound like fodder for great drama, but it's all about who's the "psycho" and who's conducting the "analysis." In the case of Jimmy P., Psychotherapy of a Plains Indian, it's award-winning actors Benicio Del Toro and Mathieu Amalric, starring as a Native American riddled with postwar mental trauma and the Hungarian Jewish doctor bent on solving the mystery locked in his patient's mind, respectively. These guys could read the phone book and make it interesting.

PHOTOS: Cannes: 'Hunger Games' Cast Attends 'Jimmy P.' Premiere

Writer-director Arnaud Desplechin (A Christmas Tale, Kings & Queen) adapted Jimmy P. from real-life psychotherapist Georges Devereux's study of a Blackfoot Indian who had served in World War II. The case is cited as prime example of dream interpretation and the "talking cure," a verbal therapy utilized by Sigmund Freud

Reviewing from the 2013 Cannes Film Festival, where Jimmy P. debuted in competition, THR praised the film for avoiding cliches and capitalizing on its two stars: "The whole project is saved largely thanks to the subtext of ethnic discrimination that runs through the film, and two riveting central performances, which overcome a wobbly start to find emotional balance by the final reel."

IFC films will release Jimmy P., Psychotherapy of a Plains Indian in theaters Feb. 14 and through VOD Feb. 20.