French director Francois Truffaut’s newest film is a tribute to American film noir. It is based on a 1962 novel by Charles Williams that blends mystery and comedy genres. Jean-Louis Trintignant plays Julien, a real estate agent who finds himself under suspicion for the murder of a friend. When his wife is killed shortly afterwards, Julien goes into hiding.
Barbara (Fanny Ardant), his feisty secretary who secretly loves him despite his penchant for beautiful blondes, volunteers to help clear his name. Donning a trench coat appropriate for the challenge at hand, she sallies forth on her own investigation. She soon discovers confusing clues and meets sinister figures, including a pimp, a movie-house cashier, a priest, and a smooth talking lawyer.
Fanny Ardant, seen in Truffaut’s The Woman Next Door, puts on ample display her sexual allure, energy, and charm. Her character turns out to be a quick-thinking woman able to venture into unknown territory while consistently maintaining her poise. Jean-Louis Trintignant is just right as a self-possessed man in water over his head who is willing to let his “gal Friday” bail him out. The black-and-white photography by Nestor Almendros is classy. Confidentially Yours percolates with just the right mix of good fun and surprises.