21

MONDAY

Early in James Foley’s Confidence, con man Jake Vig (Edward Burns) gets the advice that “style can get you killed.” Perhaps Foley should have heeded this warning in first-time feature writer Doug Jung’s screenplay, or better yet, ditched the screenplay and hired David Mamet to rewrite it. Foley’s finest film, the Mamet-penned Glengarry Glen Ross, is a minimalist classic. That movie’s brilliance stems from its humdinger of a script and all-star ensemble cast, which includes Pacino, Lemmon, and even Alec Baldwin at the top of their games. With Confidence, Foley has neither the great script nor the intriguing actors (it’s really hard to like the constantly mugging Burns, and Rachel Weisz and Luis Guzmán hardly have anything to do), and tries to compensate with flashy style. The result: Confidence is Get Shorty without the charm, Pulp Fiction without the wit, Mamet’s House of Games without the grace. In Confidence, everything seems too rushed and eager to please. And that’s the mark of a bad con. Ask Foley what he was thinking when he appears at this special screening at 7 p.m. at the National Museum of Natural History’s Baird Auditorium, 10th and Constitution Avenue NW. $12. For reservations call (202) 357-3030. (Josh Levin)

More from WCP