Ed Burns and Dustin Hoffman: fine ensemble playing
Good con artist thrillers are hard to pull off but Confidence just about gets away with it.
12 THE LIST .‘7 Add «1 Set‘ JUGS
1 goes like this. You send your little daughter into the
store. She's all hunned up. pure Shirley 'l‘einple style.
she's carrying the 50 note. She huys a ten things you tteed and some syy‘eets l'or hersell. The note she is carrying has a pink felt tip mark on it. She pay s and takes the change. So you go in with a 3() note. you huy a leyy essentials. ()n getting your change you complain that you gaye the lady a ﬁfty. You know because it yyas the only note you had in your wallet and the note should he easy to recognise. you suggest. as it has a pink lcll tip mark on it that your infant child had drayy n. Bamhoo/led. the store clerk will give you hack the 50. and the mark up is
yours to keep. It’s a cheap one. hut that's hoyy it kind or
works in Peter Bogdanoyich's \yonderl'ul W73 l'ilrn l’uper .lloon ( l‘)73i. Bogdanoyich‘s lilni \yas \ery much a pastiche ol’ and trihute to those illoyyardi llayyksian Values and (John) l-‘ordian charms that the young director had placed so closely at the heart of his dehut. The Lox! Picture Show. Real conl‘idcnce trickster thrillers are hoyy‘eyer. incredihly hard to make \york hccause. my friend. they are all about the close-up \yol'k.
A quick think will turn up may he just a handful or
really good con moyies: ('ume u Hui IVri'i/iiy. Kiarostaini's ('lose ('1). (mm/m. llopper's 'l‘lie l/or Spur. Mamet's The House of (fumes and The Spain's/1 Prisoner. Nine Queens. The Sting and at a hit or a really liheral push. The Thomas ('mn‘n Affair ithe Steye McQueen Version) and The Man Who llou/i/ lie ly'i'ire. To this list can now he added James l5oley 's (‘on/ii/em'e. Confidence is not actually going to yyin any ayyards.
haying. as it does. a top heayy. conlused second hall. thanks to the scenery cheyying antics ol the graduate himsell .\li' l)tistin llollrnan. l-oley. the director or lots ol interesting almost rans ill/er Hail. l/\ .\l'it'('/. .\I (You Rouge) and one hona lida til rather slagey r classic: (i/i'ngurry (r/t'll /\’uyy has also indulged his star. l'.d Burns \yay too much. Burns e\cretes the same inninhled .ll'iK-lllk' t‘li;tl'llllt‘\\llt'\\ llt‘ ll;t\ tlHllL' lll ttll Hl llls IIIH\ It's.
Someone really needs to he strong \\llll him and tell him: ‘lt ain't yyorking hahy. directing may he more your thing.‘ il-oley has. ol course. heen tloyytl this road helore \\ ith actor .lason l’atric and \ye all knoyy \y here that ended
X/rt't'i/ 3i. Despite all lltis, (Unfit/(Hi (' slill hoasls one hell ol a tight script and some may line ensernhle playing l'rorn Rachel \VeisI. l’aul (iianietti and \lorris ('hcstnut. l.ui/ (in/man and |)onal l.ogtie.
\Vithout giying too much ayyay. uhat is so cleyei' ahotit (omit/wire is its coinple\ity and the serious intent it lakes to inycstigate the art ol the con man. Burns giyes (slightly cheesy i straight to camera annotations ol his art and then the neu thing you knoyy he is in a scene \yhere all his home-made rules lall ayyay and the poinposity ol his theories drill into the ether. l)ong .lung's screenplay is made tip ol equal parts cod philosophy. solt-hoiled game playing and .\lainetian hard duplicity. It is. in short. a gem. Be hraye. my son. (io get yotirsell some conlidencc. Confidence, general release, Fri 22 Aug. The early viewing of this film was made possible by Virgin Trains, www.virgintrains.co.uk.