Confidence
***.5 GM
Starring: Ed Burns, Rachel Weisz, Dustin Hoffman, Tiny Lister, Paul Giamatti, Andy Garcia, Brian Van Holt, Luis Guzman, Donal Logue, Morris Chestnut, Robert Forster, Steve Tom

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SUNDANCE REVIEW (which means I'm doing a lot of reviews in a hurry, so they might be shorter and less fantastical):

Sundance is generally regarded as a world of depressing arthouse/foreign dramas that tend to leave people emotionally drained or generally feeling blue about life and the colossal tragedies therein. How, then, does a zippy little caper flick like "Confidence" get in? Not entirely sure, but it's probably helped by the fact that, in the land of the bleak, even the tiniest light-hearted spots are cherished and celebrated perhaps more than they would be otherwise.

Ed Burns, who I generally like as the beer-drinkin' schmoe with non-stop relationship advice from his "McMullen" and "She's The One" days, plays up his dreamy qualities as slick-assed Jake, head of a crime cabal with hearts of gold, setting up elaborate twisty plots to bilk assholes out of money. When they bilk the wrong asshole - in this case, one connected to a ruthless porn king with an attention deficit issue (Hoffman), they have to come up with another plan to get the heck out of a sticky situation, and they can't do it without the help of the hottie that keeps pickpocketing Jake (Weisz).

Who to trust, who to believe, who's zoomin' who - it's all up for grabs in this stylish, Tarantinoey zing-fest, and overall, it's a fun product. I noticed with this film that Paul Giamatti has distinguished himself enough in my head that I no longer refer to him as "Pig Vomit" instinctively. If he hadn't done it here, he would by the time I saw American Splendor. I'd officially developed a sure-fire thing for Rachel Weisz at the end of this film, but it would mutate into some horrific nightmare thing by the end of The Shape of Things. Andy Garcia, though... boy, I didn't even RECOGNIZE him for a long time, and this performance entirely makes up for the iffiness of The Man From Elysian Fields.

It's a good time, and there's lots of doublecrossing. And it's got Tiny Lister. Whee!

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