Owning Mahowney is based on the true story of a young bank manager who was responsible for the largest one-man Canadian bank fraud ever. It stars Philip Seymour Hoffman as Dan Mahowney. Other cast notables are John Hurst and Minnie Driver who plays Mahowney’s girlfriend. Much like Cameron Diaz in Being John Malkovich, Minnie Driver is unrecognizably hideous due to a wig, makeup and the largest pair of eyeglasses that I have ever seen. She did look like she was in the 80′s, but it makes me wonder how anybody got married in those days with the hideous hair and fashion.
Owning Mahowney is the story of Hoffman’s character, Dan Mahowney, who gets addicted to the track, and eventually casino gambling while he has access to multi-million dollar customer banking accounts and various lines of credit. You can imagine how it goes from there. It is a typical story, but as usual, Philip Seymour Hoffman creates a character that you feel like you haven’t met before.
Overall, this movie is utterly depressing for the majority of its duration. It is like a train-wreck that you can’t avert your eyes from. You can see the tracks are out about a mile ahead, but you know the brakes won’t stop the train in time. I want the movie to end because I know where it’s going, but Hoffman’s portrayal of Dan Mahowney is so good that you can’t stop caring what happens to this guy.
Hoffman is an expert actor at portraying odd characters with his eyes and facial expressions. He has done it time and again, like his portrayal of odd porno towel boy in Boogie Nights, or his convincing portrayal of Lester Bangs in Almost Famous, or his unsung role in Flawless, as a transvestite who teaches Robert DeNiro to talk again after a stroke.
If you get a chance to check this one out, you probably won’t be disappointed.