There is a lot going on in this movie besides a complex con. Two brothers, Steven and William Bloom are con artists, and that is artists with a capital A. Steven (the older brother) creates cons, so we are told like a dead Russian novelist wrote stories. The best cons are ones where everyone gets what they want. William, the younger brother is shy and reclusive. He denies he is really that way, that is just how his brother scripts him. Yet when William is alone, he is still shy and reclusive. William wants an "unwritten life" and leaves his brother, only to be found by his brother months later who needs him for one final con.
Somewhere along the line an Asian woman who speaks very little English, or so it seems, has joined the brothers. She is an expert in demolition. She appears to understand English. Take note of her actions which are typically being done in the background as they are symbolic of the scene or mood of the characters, especially William.
Steven creates cons for his shy brother to meet women, whom William rejects because he convinces himself he doesn't have true feelings for her, because his role is scripted by his brother to talk to her.
The final con involves Rachel Weisz, as Penelope a shy rich recluse who has learned much about life from books and has mastered many arts, including card tricks, which leads one to think, "Is she part of the con being played on William, or is she actually being conned?" The beauty of the movie is that we never really find out, although there are all kinds of clues which makes us suspect something more is going on.
Penelope, in spite of all of her smarts has yet to master the left peddle of her sports car. She willingly goes along with the cons and at one point takes the lead.
The movie is masterfully done. I was hooked after the first con they perform as kids. Kudos.
5 stars start to finish.