The women’s voices segue to an erotic singing of “I Put a Spell on You” as a blond woman, bathed in yellow light, plays sensuously with a diaphanous scarf, shots followed by a tilt down among snowy fir trees with an abrupt cut to a middle-aged man enjoying a loud radio version of the Sonics’ “Shot Down.” This curious, even confusing opening hooked me immediately with its enticing details.
The man, David Rousseau, writes detective novels and has driven to Mouthe, on the Franco-Swiss border, for the reading of his uncle’s will. Before he leaves, the woman, Candice Lecoeur, born Martine Langevin, is discovered dead, half buried in the snow in an international no man’s land. The pride of Mouthe, Candice worked as a television weather lady and represented The Belle de Jura cheese (an intentional reference to Bunuel’s film Belle de Jour, just as the snowscapes echo Fargo, a local detective invokes Agent Mulder, and other media references crop up throughout the film.)
Most importantly, Candice imagines she’s the reincarnation of Marilyn Monroe, her choices echoing Marilyn’s. Candice first married a superb athlete (a Nordic skiing champion), became involved with a writer, then a regional president and his brother. Puzzled by political and personal details, Rousseau searches for the truth about Candice’s death, a quest aided by Candice’s diaries—read by her in voiceover and visualized in several flashbacks.
To reveal more would ruin the considerable pleasure of this story’s disclosures, masterfully presented by writer/director Gerald Hustache-Mathieu and skillfully acted by Jean-Paul Rouve as Rousseau and Sophie Quinton as Candace. Nobody Else But You boasts great photography, well-chosen and unexpected music, and mystifying characters.
In French with English subtitles. Its St. Louis premiere is at Webster University’s Winifred Moore auditorium at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, September 14th through Sunday, September 16th. For more information and the current schedule, you may call 314-968-7487 or go to the web at: Webster.edu/filmseries.