Confidentially Yours (Vivement dimanche)

Before he became an internationally renowned filmmaker, François Truffaut (The 400 Blows, Shoot the Piano Player, Jules and Jim) was a film critic. His scathing reviews for the influential film journal Cahiers du Cinéma earned him the nickname Gravedigger, and his audacious, idiosyncratic attacks on movies got him banned from the Cannes Film Festival. Despite his biting criticisms, he loved movies and worshipped Hollywood. Of all his cinema favorites, Alfred Hitchcock was the most influential on Truffaut’s career. The 1983 Confidentially Yours (Vivement dimanche) was Truffaut’s last movie, so it’s fitting that it closes out the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston’s two-month-long tribute to the director. Confidentially Yours is his homage, sort of, to the great Hitch, but with a lot of French twists and “new wave” accents.

Not exactly a capstone to Truffaut’s amazing career, the lighthearted black-and-white film noir is actually a love letter to his mistress at the time, actress Fanny Ardant. Like a Gallic precursor to Julia Roberts, Ardant is radiantly alive on screen and the planes of her face nearly shoot out from the frame. In Yours, an adaptation of Charles Williams’s pulp crime novel The Long Saturday Night, Ardant plays girl Friday to grumpy Jean-Louis Trintignant, who’s been accused of murder. While not entirely convinced of his innocence, Ardant sets out to clear his name while he hides in the office, sulking and acting very, very French.

7 p.m. 1001 Bissonnet. For information, call 713‑639‑7515 or visit mfah.org. $9.
Sat., Nov. 22, 7 p.m., 2014

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D.L. Groover has contributed to countless reputable publications including the Houston Press since 2003. His theater criticism has earned him a national award from the Association of Alternative Newsmedia (AAN) as well as three statewide Lone Star Press Awards for the same. He's co-author of the irreverent appreciation, Skeletons from the Opera Closet (St. Martin's Press), now in its fourth printing.
Contact: D. L. Groover