First Run Features // 2011 // 102 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Appellate Judge James A. Stewart (Retired) // November 2nd, 2012
"Even cold, I'm still the hottest gal in all Franche Comté." -- Candice Lecoeur
If you go by the movies, French men must look forward to winter, since it allows more screen time for TV weather ladies. In Nobody Else But You (Poupoupidou in its original French release), a former cheese spokesmodel who turned her attentions in a stormier direction is described as a "local starlet." The French thriller traces the short life of said local starlet, with riffs on Twin Peaks and conspiracy theories around the death of Marilyn Monroe.
David Rousseau (Jean-Paul Rouve, Asterix and Obelix Meet Cleopatra), a mystery writer with an all-too-typical case of writer's block, turns up in Mouthe to hear his uncle's will read and find himself the new owner of a stuffed, dead dog, which he promptly disposes of before heading for the nearest road out of the snowy town, described as France's coldest. Before he can leave, though, he sees the authorities dealing with the body of Candice Lecoeur (Sophie Quinton, Angel of Mine), the aforementioned weather lady, who has been found dead in the snow. The police insist that it must be suicide, but David notices a few discrepancies. A young officer who befriends him has spotted a few more.
It turns out that Candice was a fan of David's writing, and she kind of likes him, even if she can't tell him, since she's watching all this from beyond the grave. It also turns out that Candice believed herself Marilyn Monroe's reincarnation, and there are some eerie parallels between her short life and that of the late screen goddess.
Yep, director Gérald Hustache-Mathieu has an eye for the weird. Some of it is very Twin Peaks, such as the ethereal music that plays as Candice's body is found, starting the mystery, or David's lodgings at a rustic local lodge; these are obvious nods to the TV series. It also turns out that Candice has a lot to say for someone who's dead. Her musings -- she's disappointed that her life didn't have a happy ending -- and memories, in her own voice (sometimes accompanied by flashback visuals), hold the story together.
The parallels to Marilyn Monroe's life and death suggest that Hustache-Mathieu has an eye for conspiracy theories as well. Candice finds herself in an affair with a very important married person, and David finds himself dealing with authorities who are trying hard not to see the clues before them, not to mention a few attempts on his own life.
David's a familiar character: he's a troubled writer who enjoys a few nips and can't leave a mystery alone, snooping around the morgue and the late weather lady's home. He's building a connection with the dead women, even as he's seemingly oblivious to the attention of a living hotel clerk. Candice will remind viewers of Monroe, the seemingly carefree beauty with more sadness and thoughtfulness under the surface than is perceived. Actress Sophie Quinton is beautiful, and you'll see a lot of her -- including nudity -- as David delves into the mystery.
Both the ethereal scenes of Quinton and the constant presence of snow are sharp and clear. You might prefer to visit the French Riviera to this wintry locale, but it looks good.
For extras, First Run Pictures includes text bios of the director and his two leads. Interestingly, the novel that David pretends to be working on while investigating Candice's death seems to be a previous Hustache-Matheiu movie, April...or maybe not.
With homage aplenty to Twin Peaks, chances are if you aren't interested in that series, you won't care for Nobody Else But You. It's not quite as odd as David Lynch, despite its aspirations, but it heads into that territory.
Nobody Else But You turns out like its heroine, bursting with sex appeal with more sadness and thoughtfulness than appears on the surface.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: First Run Features
* 2.35:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (French)
Running Time: 102 Minutes
Release Year: 2011
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Text Bios