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A throwback to the maverick 70s, when
Steven Spielberg and Sam Peckinpah constructed entire
films around Richard Dreyfuss and Dustin Hoffman,
Giamatti is another distemperate little guy with enormous magnetism. American Splendor, the 2003 showcase for his dead-on appropriation of cartoonist Harvey Pekar's
schlubby persona, rescued Giamatti from the sidekick/comic-
relief ghetto (he'd previously played Andy Kaufman's
partner in crime, Bob Zmuda, in Man on the Moon), but Alexander Payne's …