NOBODY ELSE BUT YOU (POUPOUPIDOU) (Gérald Hustache-Mathieu, 2011)
22 East 12th St. between University Pl. & Fifth Ave.
Opens Friday, May 11
After returning to his childhood vacation town of Mouthe, the coldest village in France, only to be told that his recently deceased uncle left him a stuffed dog instead of his eight-hectare vineyard, crime novelist David Rousseau (Jean-Paul Rouve), who is suffering from writer’s block, suddenly comes upon an idea for his next book. He decides to investigate the surprise suicide of Mouthe’s beloved favorite daughter, Candice Lecouer (Sophie Quinton), a beautiful young blonde who was the face of the town’s leading export, Belle de Jura cheese. Against the firm advice of Brigadier Bruno Leloup (Guillaume Gouix) and Commandant Colbert (Olivier Rabourdin) of the local police, Rousseau snoops into Candice’s past, which he quickly discovers is eerily reminiscent of the life and death of her hero, Norma Jean Baker / Marilyn Monroe. As he gets closer to the truth, however, he finds that playing detective is a lot more dangerous than he imagined. Writer-director Gérald Hustache-Mathieu (April in Love) has fashioned a thrilling modern noir with Nobody Else But You, a gorgeously shot tale of lust, pride, ambition, self-doubt, and obsession, with more than a hint of the surreal and liberal splashes of wry humor. Hustache-Mathieu brings the dead Candice back to life through flashbacks as well as voice-overs not only of her reading from her diaries but narrating from beyond the grave. The film sparkles whenever Quinton is onscreen, the actress casting an enchanting glow that rivals the almost blindingly white snowy landscapes of Mouthe, with expert cinematography courtesy of Pierre Cottereau that evokes the Coen brothers’ Fargo. The fourth collaboration between the radiant Quinton and Hustache-Mathieu, Nobody Else But You, which also boasts an eclectic soundtrack and compelling original score by Stéphane Lopez — and whose English and French (Poupoupidou) titles are both taken from the lyrics of Monroe’s famous song “I Wanna Be Loved by You” — is a rousing good mystery with an engaging balance of the lurid and the erotic.