23 July 2001 | ruby_fff
Trintignant & Ardant in Truffaut's 'Confidentially Yours' - definitely a tribute to Hitchcock with smiles
"Delight has no Competitor, so it is always most." Emily Dickinson's epigram satisfyingly describes the sublime last film of François Truffaut "Vivement Dimanche!" 1983 ("Finally, Sunday" aka "Confidentially Yours"). It's a Hitchcockian thriller shot in black & white, with ("A Man and A Woman," "Trois Colours: Rouge") Jean Louis Trintignant as the man suspected of murder(s), and Fanny Ardant as his dedicated secretary going all out to investigate on her own.
It's becoming my best favorite Truffaut film besides "Fahrenheit 451" 1966, and "Stolen Kisses" 1968. Delightful comic rhythm they have, Ardant and Trintignant together, impeccably delivered this fun thriller like a dance between Astaire and Rogers.
Truffaut's thoughtful details abound. There's the dedication to Stanley Kubrick: at Cinema Eden, we see poster of his 1957's "Paths of Glory," which was once banned in France. There's mention of Vietnamese Restaurant. Ah, the "Rear Window" feeling when the pair poked around, entering a stranger's apartment. There's the use of Le Provençal car. And the 'killer' from Barbara's angle, we see the feet but not the face - who could it be? The variety of women characters: married woman, divorced woman, madam, sinister dealer, secretarial applicant, and Barbara.
Barbara is a brunette who looks dumb and smart all at once, insecure about herself yet so confident in her deductions, bold not shy, she's obstinately determined to get the 'killer' so to prove her boss, Trintignant's Julien (whom she secretly loves) innocent. Ardant is Barbara personified. It's so cool watching her moves and energetic responses with Trintignant matching her steps.
A truly colorful black and white light-hearted mystery. The fun is in the dialog and the repartee between the characters, including the detectives and the many phone calls. The delight is in the plot movement, suspenseful intrigue upon intrigue, continuing humor and surprise after surprise as we follow Ardant and Trintignant, even a kiss has a 'movie' reason.
Absolutely satisfying cinematic affair it is, entertaining complete with a melodic end music from Georges Delerue to go with the playful imagery behind the credits roll. I succumb, this is my best loved Truffaut film, "Vivement Dimanche!"
P.S. At times it brings to mind Woody Allen's 1993 "Manhattan Murder Mystery," while certain angles of Fanny Ardant reminds one of Geena Davis' profile.