David Mamet's name doesn't feature in the credits for Confidence, but his imposing shadow keeps this ratty little picture in the shade. Director Foley pickpockets freely from Mamet's House of Games, and even enlists that picture's cameraman to conjure similar stretches of nocturnal melancholy. Such brazenness suggests a case of misplaced 'confidence'. It doesn't help that Foley has cast Burns as grifter extraordinaire Jake Vig. Having swindled the accountant of crime boss The King (Hoffman), Jake agrees to make amends by pulling the fast one to end all fast ones. Robert Forster gets a seductive intro as the Lucifer whom Jake's gang (including Weisz as a light fingered minx) plans to scam, but the film is so cavalier in its abandonment of him that it plays like a slip of the editor's scissors. That's consistent with the generally erratic focus. Hollywood's sleaziest sadsacks (Giamatti, Guzmán, Lynch) easily trump the synthetic glamour of Burns and Weisz, while you end up applauding Hoffman's shrill turn for the jolt of vulgarity that it brings to a timid film.
Cast and crew
Brian Van Holt