Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Owning Mahowny

Owning Mahowny; Drama, Canada/ UK, 2003; D: Richard Kwietniowski, S: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Minnie Driver, John Hurt, Maury Chaykin, Ian Tracey, Sonja Smits

Toronto. Dan Mahowny is seemingly a prestigious vice-president of one Canadian bank and has a happy relationship with Belinda. But in reality that man has one big weakness - gambling. Dan is so obsessed with gambling that he spent all of his money, and when that wasn't enough, he started faking documents and creating imaginary clients who open accounts in order to pick up bank money. Little by little, he managed to spend bank's 10 million $ in a US casino and was thus arrested and sent to therapy.

Interesting and ambitious, but not extortionately impressive nor extraordinary brilliant drama "Owning Mahowny", about a hero who was completely obsessed with gambling, was based on real events and marked the second feature length film by director Richard Kwietniowski. Kwietniowski surprised the critics back in '97 with his first feature length film, unnoticed but magical masterwork "Love and Death on Long Island" created out of damped moments. Unfortunately, the magic from "Long Island" lacks in the cold and formal "Mahowny", whose biggest virtues are the accessible mood and at moments humorous parts that portray how the hero, hopelessly obsessed with gambling, started faking documents in order to get the money from the bank he worked in and indulge his secret caprice in a casino, while all the actors, from Philip Seymour Hoffman, through Minnie Driver up to the fantastic John Hurt, Kwietniowski's hero from "Long Island", are in great shape.


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