Dan Mahowny was a rising star at the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce. At twenty-four he was assistant manager of a major branch in the heart of Toronto's financial district. To his colleagues he was a workaholic. To his customers, he was astute, decisive and helpful. To his friends, he was a quiet, but humorous man who enjoyed watching sports on television. To his girlfriend, he was shy but engaging. None of them knew the other side of Dan Mahowny--the side that executed the largest single-handed bank fraud in Canadian history, grossing over $10 million in eighteen months to feed his gambling obsession.Written by
Sujit R. Varma
Canadian movies- especially those made with taxpayers' dollars- have always bored me. But "Owning Mahowny" broke the mold, and is a mesmerizing exception to the rule. I am amazed this film did not meet with more popular success, given the critical acclaim it received.
Philip Seymour Hoffman's portrayal of the bland and somewhat shabby banker who embezzled 10 million to support his gambling addiction is spot on. I can say this with some authority since I knew "Mahowny" personally back in high school, where his predilection for the racetrack and for fleecing junior students at cards was legendary. The seedy clothes, the clunker car, and the repressed demeanor all ring true. Kudos to Hoffman for a riveting performance.
Gambling movies (The Cincinnati Kid, The Hustler) have by and large ignored the addiction angle. This film delivers- in spades.
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