François Truffaut's last film is both a homage and a lark. Without the brooding poutiness it's a homage to Alfred Hitchcock, and it's possible to watch this film just for the parallels or outright hat-tipping that goes o... more »n. It's the story of an older, hapless real-estate agent, Vercel (Jean-Louis Trintignant), under suspicion for a ruthless murder. Since this is a black-and-white, subtitled French film, the agent's voluptuous, intelligent secretary (a sharp and sexy Fanny Ardant) is hopelessly in love with him. While he hides out in the back office, she tries to get to the bottom of the crime; this is not so much a whodunit as a cinematic treat about the conventions and setups of film noir. Under the beautiful cinematography of Néstor Almendros, this is a film rainy Sunday afternoons were made for. --Keith Simanton« less
Interplanetary Funksmanship | Vanilla Suburbs, USA | 08/28/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This movie was a holy grail of sorts for me when I first saw it years ago in Berlin at a Truffaut retrospective. In German, it is titled "Auf Liebe und Tod" ("Of Love and Death"). I asked the ticket taker what it was called in the original, and she didn't know. Being in the days before the www, I finally found out it was called "Vivement Dimanche!" in French ("I Eagerly Awaiting Sunday to Come"). It took me another year before I traced its English title, "Confidentially Yours." Isn't it amazing how these widely divergent titles reflect their languages and cultures?
Well, then years later, the wait became trying to find a VHS to rent, then later I pensively waited for the DVD release. But, now I have the DVD, and couldn't be happier!
Of course, the DVD doesn't have many "extras," but since I don't buy DVDs for extras, it's no big deal. The subtitles by Laurent Bouzereau, however, are excellent, and at least faithful to my memory of the German dubbing (speaking no French, I suppose this means the German dubbing was also faithful), and in much more a sophisticated vernacular than the old VHS I saw.
As with "The Bride Wore Black," "Confidentially Yours" is Truffaut's overt hommage to the master of suspense, Alfred Hitchcock. Unlike "bride," though, there's no Bernard Herrmann score, but not to worry! French composer and Truffaut favourite Georges Delerue ("The 400 Blows," "Jules and Jim," "Hiroshima Mon Amour") conjures a dark soundtrack worthy not only of Herrmann, but hearkens back to Max Steiner, Miklos Roscza and Franz Waxman with his forboding themes on the lower strings.
Actually, although "Confidentially Yours" is inspired by Hitch, it is also a tribute to the great film noirs of the 1940s, and even has an element of screwball comedy about it. Jean-Louis Trintignant stars as the luckless Vercel, a small-time realtor in Southern France who's been framed for murder. So, like Hitch's man on the run, Vercel must hide out while Gal Friday Barbara, played with sophisticated wit, sexiness and charm by Fanny Ardant (who bears an eerie resemblance both to Geena Davis and Patricia Neal), who sets about proving his innocence. Of course, Vercel's fate only sinks further as two more murders are attributed to him as he eludes the cops.
Through a series of twists and double-crosses that are more out of Howard Hawks' "The Big Sleep" than Hitchcock, Ardant eventually gets Trintignant off the hook, and in the process discovers -- voila! -- she's been in love with her rather abrasive boss all along.
"Confidentially Yours" is a fitting denouement for Truffaut: A neat and tidy bundle of murder, betrayal, revenge, love and lust in a lighthearted vein. Francois, you left us too soon!"
HITCHCOCKIAN LOVE AND MURDER
Robin Simmons | Palm Springs area, CA United States | 05/22/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The late Francois Truffaut was one of the inventors and purveyors of French New Wave cinema. He was also an ardent admirer of Alfred Hitchcock. In "CONFIDENTIALLY YOURS," Truffaut's last film, he deftly pays homage to Sir Alfred and displays the signature cinematic style he so loved in a noirish tale of love and murder. The witty screenplay, adapted by Truffaut and Suzanne Schiffman, is based on American Charles William's novel, "The Long Saturday Night" but relocated to a small town in the South of France.The premise is simple. Vercel (Jean-Louis Trintignant) is a luckless businessman who is under suspicion for murdering his wife and her lover. His smart and beautiful secretary Barbara (Fanny Ardent), who is hopelessly in love with her boss, tries to solve the murder and prove his innocence while Varcel hides in his office and then is on the lam. The beauty of this elegant and intelligent film is in the role reversals that make the familiar territory a brand new landscape. The sentimentality that permeates almost every scene is never allowed to soften the unexpected, and sometimes cutting, dark humor.
Enough can't be said about Ardent's charismatic charm. The camera loves her, and so did Truffaut -- she was his real life paramour during the making of this film. In many scenes, she literally seems to glow. For many videophiles, she is the primary reason to watch this delightful gem. It is certainly among Truffaut's very best films.The crisp, striking black and white cinematography is by Néstor Almendros ("Two English Girls")."
The end of the line, and a great "entertainment"
Bomojaz | South Central PA, USA | 11/10/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It's fitting that Francois Truffaut's final movie before his death should pay direct homage to the one director he admired above all others: Alfred Hitchcock. This is a murder mystery in the tradition of the master, right down to the little comic touches; even the love story is straight Hitchcock.
The story is too complicated to actually summarize, but it begins with a man being shot while hunting, an innocent man being accused, and his secretary helping him prove his innocence and falling in love with him at the same time. (Based on just that about a half-dozen Hitchcock films should come to mind.) Two more dead bodies show up, the chase leads to Nice and other places, and leads crop up and disappear before the real murderer is apprehended. At times the story line gets too complicated to follow, and coincidences occur left and right, but Truffaut by this point in his career was only interested in making good entertainments - and in that he succeeded admirably. Filmed in b&w. Great fun to watch."
Truffault, Ardant, Hitchcock: Very Nice
C. O. DeRiemer | San Antonio, Texas, USA | 09/14/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This romance/comedy/murder movie is the last film Truffaut made. It's called an homage to Hitchcock, and like many of Hitchcock's films it mixes murder with humor, with the two leads misunderstanding each other, a good deal of misdirection, and everything turning out okay.
A man is murdered and another man (Jean-Louis Trintignant) is a suspect. Then the suspect's wife is killed and it looks like he did it. He hides from the police while his secretary (Fanny Ardant), who loves him, sets out to prove his innocence. More murders happen, red herrings are thrown about, and finally the killer meets justice, exiting on a great last line, "Women are magic, and I became a magician." Here and there are gentle reminders of scenes from Hitchcock movies, including the staggering victim with a knife in the back from North by Northwest.
The film belongs to Ardant. She's a tall, leggy actress with a strong face who strides along with confidence and seems to look upon life's mysteries with humor and a little skepticism. She's great in this film. Twenty years later, in middle age playing a wordly aristocrat in Ridicule, she proves she hasn't lost a thing.
Confidentially Yours won't be added to any list of Truffaut's great films, but it is a very assured and enjoyable piece of work. If you like Truffaut, if you like Ardant, if you like Hitchcock, it's well worth your time.
The DVD transfer is not spectacular, but it doesn't get in the way of appreciating the movie."
Truffaut's Fond Farewell
C. O. DeRiemer | 05/12/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This being Francois Truffaut's final film, Confidentially Yours is a gem--playful, entertaining and totally irresistable. If this movie is fluff, it is the best of fluff. Touted as a homage to Alfred Hitchcock, this film is a comedy/murder mystery where the emphasis is not so much on "whodunnit" but on giving the viewer a pleasurable and fun time in reaching the climax. Perhaps Truffaut's greatest achievement here is in featuring his then paramour Fanny Ardant as the heroine. Her performance is magnificent--attractive, magnetic and wonderfully human. As she has proven in many other films, Ardant is one of France's finest actresses today. Another wonderful facet of this film is the expressive black and white photography. It expresses the film noir mood yet somehow contributes to the playful feel of this film. This is a film that you can watch over and over again and still be totally entertained. Along side "Day for Night", "Mississippi Mermaid", and "Story of Adele H", it is one of Truffaut's great films."