Julien Vercel (Jean-Louis Trintignant), an estate agent, is suspected of murdering his wife’s lover. All clues point to him especially when his wife is also found dead. As Vercel is hidden in his office, Barbara Becker (Fanny Ardant), his secretary, investigates these suspicious murders.
This film is not currently playing on MUBI but 30 other great films are. See what’s now showing
The French title translates to "Brisk Sunday!", and though we lost Truffaut way too soon, there's a certain poetic rhyme to how, like Hitchcock, he ended on a lark. It is a lively mystery, gobbling up a trail of breadcrumbs too fast to count but too delicious to reject. It is, most of all, a tribute to the magic of Fanny Ardant. If Truffaut was sent here to prefer cinema to life, there are worse ways to take a bow.
Truffaut's final film is a delicious treat. Shot in glorious black + white, and made to look like a 1949 Film Noir, this is also an homage to cinema, complete with a trip to the cinema-house, where Kubrick's Paths of Glory is playing. Trintignant and Ardant are as perfect as any cinematic couple ever was. Classic Noir, classic Truffaut.
The essence of cinema presented as pure cinema! Mustering various conventions from Hitchcock, noir, expressionism, Truffaut delivers to humanity this ingenious reconstruction of crime drama turning clichés on their head after he has exploited to the fullest their potential as clichés! Ardant glows and the photographic lens as children's play in the finale is a glorious pun on cinematic playfulness. Extraordinary!
Truffaut's final film is a glorious full on murder/mystery picture that owes a deep gratitude to the cinema of Alfred Hitchcock who of course is well linked to Truffaut in cinema history. Fanny Ardant is magnificent here as a secretary trying to clear the name of her boss (Jean-Louis Trintignant). Shot in sumptuous b&w by Nestor Almendros a master of light and shadow.