Confidentially Yours (1983) Poster

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Trintignant & Ardant in Truffaut's 'Confidentially Yours' - definitely a tribute to Hitchcock with smiles
Ruby Liang (ruby_fff)23 July 2001
"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.
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Funny, surprising, very intelligent
A Barros27 February 2005
Truffaut did some beautiful movies and this, along with La femme d'à coté, is a favorite. The B&W gives the film ambiance, Fanny Ardent gives the film grace. She's the heart and soul of the film and is in very good company. The plot is smart and full of twists - will keep you hooked to the end. What initially appears to be another passion crime unfolds into the secret relationships of the deceased, into the underworld, and into the many abilities of a secretary that happens to be in love with the boss. The movie is very instigating in showing a feminist approach to crime solving, where, surprisingly, the heroin is ready to stand rather strong abuse. Well worth bearing the legends if you can't handle French.
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God bless Francois Truffaut
buster7521917 August 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Once I heard the delightful music upon the opening credits and Fanny Ardent's heels clicking down the avenue-I was immediately hooked on the film-who wouldn't be? I love that he goes full circle with the same tunes at the end of the film while the choir children are shuffling the camera man's lens around like a hockey puck! Fanny is just a gem to watch-one is just mesmerized by her intoxicating beauty and her (as one of the policeman puts it) her "Miss Know it All"-ism. Once commenter on this site compared the film to Woody's "Manhattan Murder Mystery" which in and of itself contained many Hitchcockian references. I see Ardent as possibly the "Keaton" like character-mischievous-looking deeper and deeper-opening up "Pandoras Box" getting into trouble for for justice! As fans of Truffaut we all know this was indeed his tribute/homage to Hitch and a great one indeed-not only to him but to film noir all together. One can only think if Truffaut had lived longer what other genres he might have explored since this was such a wonderful example of not only the genre itself but also of his brilliant style of film-making for generations to share forever. God bless Francois Truffaut!
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A funny and smart Thriller!!!
anton-65 November 2001
Truffaut´s last film is a funny and smart thriller that feels very Hitchcock inspired.It´s entertaining but has no depth.The acting by Fanny Ardant is very funny and great.Also very beautifully shot in black & white and I think that François Truffaut was one of the best directors and he did some fantastic films.4/5
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Great Fun Movie
rjkohn3 November 2010
Confidentially is truly one of the very best fun mysteries. Frankly,I don't quite understand how some do not seem to understand that this is just a wonderful way to pass a couple of hours. It certainly is not necessary to analyze each and every minute of the picture. I suppose that most of us have a few films, which we always remember and continually go back to contemplate. This is Confidentially. I have it on a quite old VHS and probably watch it at least once every few months. There are so many wonderful aspects. So very different from the run of the mill. I can watch over and over again the opening scene walking with the dog or the closing playing with the lens cap. What incredible music. Interesting, in another Truffaut film, the leg walking scene is vividly portrayed. Ardant is one of those very special French artists that never seem to change or for that matter, age. Twenty years after this film, she starred in Nathalie and Callas. She still is extremely beautiful. I sure would like to figure out just what is the French secret. Danielle Darrieux is still making pictures at 93. It has been more than 50 years since Jean Louis Trintignant became famous after his Brigitte Bardot film. BTW - there are so very many ever so interesting small pieces in Confidentially. One I really like is the one about the girl who comes to the office for a secretarial job interview. This picture is now 27 years old. Will we have to wait another 27 years for another perfectly coordinated and exquisitely designed film to appear?
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Genius finale of a great director
Jonathan Doron18 May 1999
The most suitable movie in the 80's to be filmed in black-and-white. Masterfully directed by Francois Truffuat. Huge part smart, swift, suspenseful and surprising; interesting almost to the very end, (the mystery is slightly better than its solution). Wish they'd make more like these.
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The Long Saturday night Truffaut style is a homage winner.
Spikeopath4 March 2008
World cinema lost a great craftsman when François Truffaut passed away from a brain tumour in 1984, but his legacy lives on of course and here in Vivement dimanche! we have a very fitting and enjoyable swansong. Basically a crime/romance film, Truffaut treats us to a sort of pulp noir for the 80s audience, and by golly it works a treat. The plot is scrambled as Barbara Becker goes in search of clues to prove that her boss {ex} is innocent of a murder when all the evidence points to him actually being the killer. It sounds simple but there is much more going on as Truffaut has woven into the mix the complexities of love, there is more to Barbara and her boss Julien than is at first thought, and the journey that Barbara takes is dark and interesting in equal measure.

The cast are simply sublime, I adored every actor in this film because they all give memorable performances to a number of interesting and integral characters. The leads are pitch perfect, Fanny Ardant as Barbara is just wonderful, putting layers into the role the further into the seedy underworld she goes, whilst Jean-Louis Trintignant feeds off Ardant's lead and gives a gusto and perfectly wrought turn to savour, shot in classic black & white to add to the flavour of the genre, the film is a sure fire winner, and the ending is tops as well, 9/10.
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Sunday, bloody Sunday
jotix1002 July 2009
Warning: Spoilers
Leave it to the French to find an American pulp fiction novel like Charles Williams' "The Long Saturday Night" and turn it to cinematic terms. Such was the choice of Francois Truffaut, one of the champions of the New Wave movement, and a fervent admirer of director Alfred Hitchcock, to translate the story into a French one, paying homage to his idol as he only knew how. The result was a film a step below of his great movies.

The story is about Jean Vercel, a real estate agent, who is a suspect for killing both his wife, Marie-Christine, and her lover. Vatel goes to hide in his office and engages his secretary, Barbara, who is secretly in love with her boss to do the investigating as he wants to clear his name. It is clear that Barbara has a knack for getting to the bottom of the problem to help the man she loves.

Truffaut shot the film in black and white. He worked on the screenplay with two writers he had worked before, Suzanne Schiffman and Jean Aurel. The result is a movie that was more a product of the way he felt about Hitchcock, and in many respects, also an homage to Stanley Kubrick, whom he also admired, than a deeply felt film. To prove how he felt about Kubrick, he has Barbara at one point ask a cinema ticket seller whether "Paths of Glory" is a love story. Mr. Truffaut must have been sick while involved in the project because he died shortly after it was finished.

Fanny Ardant is the best excuse for watching the movie. She plays Barbara, the secretary that wants to exonerate her boss and acts as a detective. Jean Louis Trintignant is the accused man, Jean Vercel, in a role that didn't do much for him. This film was also a tribute to Ms. Ardant and the way the director felt about her.
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Good Romantic
Kumar Y6 October 2005
People might think i am mad to give 8. But somehow i liked the way the picture has been presented. Complexity in the relationship i think it has been subtly but strongly depicted. another good point is this movie took the suspense tempo so well till the end of (or nearer to the end)the movie. Forget about certain illogical sequences, how this could happen or what, but the most appreciable thing was the suspense was never broken till the last few scenes, the tempo was kept without losing it, romance bit was there to show how people are so blind sometimes, they miss the real love and run after beauty. Hey i liked it. Its good movie to make your mood lighter.
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Stunned in Too Many Ways
gigantes6 April 2003
i was up late, scamming for some reason to continue my slackful ways... i chanced upon this little gem, halfway through... i knew nothing about this work except it being from overseas...

i was hooked; entranced; captivated by the style, dialogue, pacing and FANNY... what a spark of life she was... beautiful and damaged...

well, i am stunned that this film is from 1983??? surely it's a mistake- 1963 perhaps? and i don't mean the fact it's B&W- this production style is long since passed... isn't it??

stunned also by these user reviews... they are professional-grade, i swear... as good as the movie, i think... something tells me i must watch much more truffaut... and FANNY...
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A shaggy dog running like a greyhound
theorbys22 September 1999
Confidentially Yours aka Vivement Dimanche is a spoof/tribute to noir/detective/Hitchcock films. Someone (it won't take you long to figure out who) commits a brutal murder and the police suspect Jean Louis Trintignant ( a real estate agent) but his secretary (a girl Friday he has just fired, perfectly played by Fanny Ardant--whose movie this is) investigates (dressed in a trench coat -- why she must wear a trench coat is one of the gags), determined to clear him.

It is a shaggy dog because it piles on the clues, close scrapes, crimes, etc. at ten times the rate of the films it salutes. It is a greyhound because it must get all that into 110 minutes, which it does with zest and comic theatricality (referenced of course by the subplot of a comic theatrical performance being given by Ardant's amateur theater group).

As film making it would have been a lot fresher if it had been made in 1964 rather than 1984, but that should not effect your viewing experience of an expertly made madcap mystery. I would have preferred the film in color. I know why it is in black and white, but it does not seem to me to have any particular aesthetic merit as a black and white film. While no masterpiece, it was perhaps not a bad way to end a directorial career with a loving look back to all those great mysteries and screwball comedies of yore.
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Sunday, Bloody Sunday
writers_reign1 May 2005
Warning: Spoilers
I don't know just how ill Truffaut was when he shot this, his last film, but I'd guess extremely. It's understandable that he'd want to throw a film to Fanny Ardant given that they were an item and had a child together and whilst I certainly have no quarrel with Ardant getting the lion's share of any movie I wish she could have found something better than this melange. It's almost as if Truffaut had a perverse desire to return to the clumsiness of his early black and white efforts which made little pretense to professionalism. Here we're asked to stomach the fact that a man (Jean-Louis Trintignant) wanted for murder would be able to hide out in his own Real Estate office almost indefinitely whilst his secretary (Ardant) is out solving the crime whilst the police fail even to stake out his office. It's the kind of no-brainer where in the last reel having seen no prior evidence of it Ardant can say to Trintignant with a straight face that she's been madly in love with him all along. See it for Ardant.
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Hitchcock Homage Falls Short
magicturtle25 December 2002
This was Truffaut's last film. Didn't he die of a brain tumor? His health was evident in this film. If you watch with the intent of finding insight into his relationship with Ardant, this film is vaguely interesting. As an homage to Hitchcock, this film does not measure up.

Fanny Ardant is beautiful in her leggy, tall girl way. Jean-Louis Trintignant is short, older, and in possession of a mature attraction that men sometimes fall into in their forties and fifties. The chemistry between them is as fiery as the spark between a sponge and a pencil.

The story, in all of its contrivance, is inconsistently humorous and does not near Hitchcock's tongue-in-cheek.

If you are a Fanny Ardant fan, you will see her walk, run, walk some more, drive, walk, fall, run a little bit, walk some more...another name for this film could very well be, "Walk, Fanny, Walk". She is stunning, none-the-less and, as a result, the only thing worth watching. If you like her, you'll like seeing her in this film.
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This film has some wonderful moments but too many lapses overall
MartinHafer29 July 2005
Warning: Spoilers
This film, with some editing and a slight re-write could have been a fantastic film. I wonder if Truffaut's declining health (he died of cancer right after this was completed) perhaps had something to do with the roughness of the plot--there were too many plot holes to keep me engaged. Over and over throughout the film, the characters reacted WRONGLY to a given situation--often in VERY illogical ways. Let me point out a few examples: 1. When the main character confronts his wife about her adulteries, she admits it and treats him like dirt (I mean, she is REALLY obnoxious about it). Then, seconds later the police arrive and she asks him to tell the police she is not home. Fine. But then he DOES EXACTLY WHAT SHE SAID--even though any normal person wouldn't have given a rat's behind for her based on the previous scene AND because his lying to the police only served to implicate him for murder! 2. When the accused man's secretary returns after going to Nice to find clues, the man responds by slapping her--when she is trying to save his sorry butt! Then, she doesn't even get angry or yell at him for physically abusing her! This whole scene made no sense. Perhaps the French treat their women like that, but I seriously doubt it.

3. A romance suddenly materializes just before the film ends. Where it came from and why it occurs makes no sense at all. For more info, see #2 above! So, in summary the movie has an excellent overall plot but is just too full of holes and logical errors to make it anything better than an average film. That's a shame because I'm sure Truffaut was capable of better.

FYI--One little thing I really DID like about the film is the priest who gets decked towards the middle of the film. When he reappears, I had to laugh out loud!
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Psst! It's a Truffaut Film.
JLRMovieReviews7 August 2014
We open on a dusk-filled marsh-like field of France. A man is crouched down in position for duck/bird hunting, when from behind him a man approaches and shoots him. Such begins Francois Truffaut's "Confidentially Yours." Fanny Ardant is a secretary who has for some time been in love with her employer. When he is under suspicion by the police for the killing, she sets out to help him. Through a series of Hitchcockian developments and scenarios, they are thrust together. More murders occur, even as he is trying to keep an arm's length away from the police. I thought I had more to say, but this was a very enjoyable film that got more complicated as it went along. At times, it felt very tongue-in-cheek and in others the imminent danger was intense. But make sure you see this (on TV or DVD) with subtitles you can read. The top of the second line was at the bottom of the screen, barely making it readable. Otherwise, a very well-made film with good lead actors and a haunting mysteriousness about it make this a very rewarding experience.
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François Truffaut's successful swansong
dbdumonteil20 April 2006
As I have often pointed out in several reviews, François Truffaut is far from being prominent in my canon of favorite French filmmakers of all time. I have always thought that he was one of the most overrated ones and he contributed in making me hate the New Wave and its pretensions. "Les 400 coups" (1959) is a very academic work. "Jules et Jim" (1962) has not worn very well and its innovative camera work couldn't conceal the extreme unlikeliness of the story. I also pass in silence the Antoine Doinel saga starring stiff Jean-Pierre Léaud. However, there are some palatable flicks in Truffaut's filmography: "l'Enfant Sauvage" (1970), a very harrowing, sensitive work, "l'Argent De Poche" (1976), a delightful children's realm and this one "Vivement Dimanche!" (1983), his last opus before he passed away the following year.

It was not the first time, Truffaut had tried a stab at handling the detective genre. "Tirez Sur Le Pianiste" (1960), "la Mariée Etait en noir "(1968), "la Sirène Du Mississippi" (1969) gave so-so results but "Vivement Dimanche"!" is far more gripping and enjoyable than the three quoted films. An estate agent, Julien Vercel (Jean Louis Trintignant) is suspected of having murdered his wife and his lover. He has to hide in his workplace and her secretary Barbara (Fanny Ardant) investigates about this mystery and leads her to reconstitute Barbara's murky past. Julien confides to Barbara that he knew very well his wife but in the same time, he didn't want to know her hidden face. He'll however discover it.

With his 21st long-feature movie, Truffaut wanted to pay a tribute to one of his masters, Sir Alfred Hitchcock and also to the detective films with which he grew up. The Truffaut insiders surely know that he was a big fan of the master of suspense, in the 1960's, Truffaut published a book in which through a series of interviews, he related the work he did in his prestigious filmography. In our present movie, Hitchockian references are evident with, for example winks at "Rear Window" (1954) (Truffaut's favorite film from Hitchcock) or "Dial M For Murder" (1954). And some objects play a vital role for the evolution of the plot like in some Hitchcock's works: the telephone among others.

Truffaut's movie conciliates two sub genres of the detective film: the whodunit and the film noir (the film takes place in the south of France where it is usually sunny, but here quite a lot of scenes takes place at night) enjoys a solidly structured plot with the usual ingredients of the genre: wrong culprit, shady places, a gripping investigation with the scattering of clues revealing Barbara's past and leading to the resolution of the plot. Actually, one could have an inkling about Barbara's and her lover's murderer. What matters is why he killed them. Then Truffaut's work is also served with genteel camera work and especially there's humor which isn't in general his forte. But here, it works. My favorite moment would be (when Barbara is in front of the brothel: a passer-by: "Excuse me. How Much?" Barbara: "Pardon?" "How much?", "it's twenty-five to eight". And of course, Truffaut couldn't make a work without inserting movie-loving details. The cinema plays the Stanley Kubrick film: "Paths of Glory" (1958).

The cast? It's immaculate. Fanny Ardant (Mrs Truffaut at the time) is excellent as well as Jean Louis Trintignant. But the rest of the cast doesn't stay on the bench. Each actor who acts a colorful character makes his or her part count.

What is puzzling is that Truffaut hated Sundays. It's mysterious why he entitled his last movie with something he disliked. Was he contemplating retirement? Perhaps not since after, he wrote the script for "la Petite Voleuse" which was about to be directed by Claude Miller in 1988 with gratifying results. But Fanny Ardant sighs in the film: "I can't wait to be on Sunday". It's true that in the film, it's a complete change of life. She acts more like a detective than a secretary and it may be grueling to try to resolve a mystery. So, Sunday is eagerly awaited. Anyway, Truffaut began his cinema career with an overrated work, "les 400 coups". He will have ended it with a buoyant one.
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Not as good as the legend.
barberoux28 June 2002
I was a bit disappointed by this movie. I expected a complex drama in the Hitchcock style but I got a mediocre story more like a Hitchcock TV presentation. It isn't a bad movie. It's more a vehicle for Fanny Ardant. She is a pleasure to watch and listen to. Jean-Louis Trintignant was also good. The writing wasn't all that great. The plot was simplistic and some scenes were clunky.
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Hitchcock inspired but no Hitchcock
SoftKitten8012 November 2004
For such a big Hitchcock fan Truffaut disappointed a bit with this movie. We see the starkness of Hitchcock. We see the mood music as in Psycho. But it is not Hitchcock. The lead actress is unremarkable in every way. Her face is quite gaunt. None of the actors stand out. The story tends to drag. Truffaut was perhaps better for Hitchcock in helping to keep his name before the public than any other director. There is a disparity between his admiration for the British director and his ability to make the same type of suspense films. The film had a very foreign feel to it, not pleasantly so. There was maybe not enough starkness. Definitely not enough richness. But worth seeing to better understand Truffaut's style.
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A flabby Hitchcock tribute
Leofwine_draca21 May 2017
Warning: Spoilers
FINALLY, Sunday! is one of the many films made by French auteur Francois Truffaut, shot in black and white. This one's a tribute to Alfred Hitchcock, featuring Hitchcockian themes throughout, and it has a lightness of touch similar to Hitch's work of the 1930s. However, in the heavy hands of Truffaut I found it something of a chore to watch; the director's approach is to eke out every little bit of every little scene and the result is long-winded and oddly seriously despite the lightness of the subject matter. It's as if the director has been so painstaking that all the fun is taken out of the production.
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An intriguing movie that falls flat at the end
david-sarkies27 December 2013
Warning: Spoilers
This was the last of Truffaut's films and he died less than two months after its completion. I think the rush job at the end of this film seems to suggest that it was quickly finished as not much thought seemed to be put into it to tie everything together. Vivement Dimanche is a murder mystery set in modern times but it has been done in black and white to give the appearance of antiquity. The movie is timeless in the way that props have been used and that most of the scenes occur indoors rather than out. As one watches the film it is understandable if one were to think that Vivement Dimanche was a much older film than it actually is.

A man's friend is shot dead while both are out hunting, but the man does not see it and all he knows is that his car has been left wide open. When he returns to his real-estate office he is brought in for questioning and learns that his wife was having and affair with the victim and he is the prime suspect. He confronts his wife after receiving an anonymous and abusive phone call but forgives her. He then returns to the police station and during this time his wife is murdered. Thus he goes into hiding while his secretary, who was on the verge of being fired because she allegedly had a fight with his wife, decides to help him out and clear his name.

This film is a real mystery as we learn that his wife doesn't run a beauty parlour in Nice but rather a brothel. As we dig deeper we find that there are some strange characters working at the cinema that turn up in the brothel and we also learn that the man's wife is not really who she claims to be. In some ways this movie is quite far fetched because the main character seems to be quite ignorant to the deep plots that all of his apparently close friends are tied up to. His wife's name is not her name and the marriage that he thought was real is only fake. His friend is a major player in a prostitution ring and his lawyer seems to have a lot to do with it as well.

As is typical of mysteries, the real criminal must be one of the characters that we know in the movie. There is little evidence brought up during the movie to point to a particular character, nor does any seem to make much of an appearance. In one way Truffaut has managed to keep us guessing as to what is going on, which I though was good. I was riveted to the movie to find out what was actually happening, but I felt the end was very disappointing. It seemed to throw all of the interesting threads that had appeared into a basket with no common tie. Truffaut could have extended the movie a bit further so as to create a much plausible ending and dropped more evidence to point to the real murderer than the lame trick he uses and the murderer confessing straight out anyway.
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