[AFFFF ’12] Poupoupidou (Nobody Else But You)

Every so often a film comes along and is absolutely surprising and not at all what was expected. Nobody Else But You or Poupoupidou as I prefer is that film for me, I had my expectations on what it was about and how it may unfold but it was not at all what I thought and it was a stunning surprise on every level. I loved this film, a type of noir/crime that is certainly going to get compared to ‘Fargo’ for its ‘in the snow’ setting and Twin Peaks with that mystery angle.
Our film begins with novelist David (Jean-Paul Rouve) heading to a small town to find out whether he inherited anything off a recently deceased relative. On his way back he witnesses a body being put into an ambulance, he soon finds out the body was that of local celebrity Candice Lecoeur (Sophie Quinton), she’s the weather woman and the icon for a cheese company. Her real name was Martine Langevin, and something about her death doesn’t seem right to David, he suspects murder over suicide and goes about investigating when the local police won’t have a bar of it. He soon becomes entranced in this woman and her mystery, and the strange parallel’s between her life and that of Marilyn Monroe.
Going into this film, I knew it was about the death of a woman but I assumed the main characters knew each other and this was not the case. In life they did not meet, it is through her death that David learns about her and the narration is told from her now gone self (kind of like The Lovely Bones) and through her many diaries in which her story unfolds. There is a great back and forth with the narrative of the current events with David and the flashbacks of Martine and her transformation into local celebrity Candice.

The performances in this film are fantastic, I absolutely adored Jean-Paul Rouve, his character of David is quite the layered one. He’s clearly suffering writers block (I can relate) and is looking for that ‘thing’ to really motivate and inspire him once again. We can see the change in him once he finds this case, and the mystery that surrounds the young woman. He needs to find the truth, and he feels this strange connection with her. Sophie Quinton while not in the film as much just shines here. Each time we get a glimpse at Martine/Candice it is a delight, she’s charming, beautiful and so mysterious. The parallels between her and Marilyn are handled nicely and she certainly was channelling a bit of that into her performance as the Martine/Candice away from the spotlight. The film is really focused on these two; the other performances are strong as well, but these are the two you’ll really bring back with you after the film.
I really liked how Nobody Else But You had a lot to say about the ‘celebrity’ and sexuality, but these are things you need to experience within the context of the story. The commonalities with Monroe are also things you’ll need to experience as well; if you are familiar with her you’ll pick up on all the little bits and pieces. They are there, some are subtle and others not quite as (the politician sub-plot especially isn’t subtle) but they work quite well with the story and the character.
The film is a delightful one, a sad one, a funny one and just so compelling and thought provoking. Director and writer (with Juliette Sales) Gérald Hustache-Mathieu has crafted a stunning film, in all levels. It is beautifully shot, it looks amazing, the cinematography is hands down one of the best I’ve seen recently and that soundtrack is fantastic! This is a film that needs to be seen, there is a wide appeal and it is enjoyable and well worth experiencing. I honestly can’t wait to watch it again.
Rating:

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