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Owning Mahowny

Where to Watch Owning Mahowny

R
2003

The movie Owning Mahowny, released in 2003, is a gripping drama based on the true-life story of a compulsive gambler named Dan Mahowny. The film stars the late Philip Seymour Hoffman as Mahowny, who turns in a stunning performance as a man whose addiction to gambling drives him to extremes.

The story follows Mahowny, a bank employee from Toronto, Canada, whose life revolves around gambling. He has a seemingly ordinary life with a steady job, a girlfriend named Belinda (Minnie Driver), and a comfortable living. But behind the scenes, he has a huge gambling problem that he tries to hide from everyone, including Belinda.

Mahowny's life takes a dark turn when he starts embezzling money from the bank where he works. He then uses the stolen funds to fuel his gambling addiction, traveling to Las Vegas and Atlantic City to play high-stakes games. Despite a lack of experience in gambling, Mahowny's incredible luck and knowledge allow him to win millions of dollars in a short time. However, his winning streak becomes a nightmare when a suspicious casino manager Victor Foss (John Hurt) begins to investigate him.

Hoffman's portrayal of Mahowny is both complex and nuanced, and the audience empathizes with his character despite his actions. His constant need to gamble becomes more than just an addiction as he becomes consumed by it. Whenever he loses, he keeps trying to win back his losses, leading him into a vicious cycle of lies and deceit. Hoffman captures the intensity of Mahowny's emotions perfectly, conveying the character's desperation and fear with a raw and powerful performance.

Minnie Driver's role as Mahowny's girlfriend is equally riveting. Driver is charming and likable, but she is also tough and uncompromising when she learns the truth about Mahowny's gambling addiction. She sees through his façade of normalcy and confronts him, causing Mahowny to spiral further into his addiction.

John Hurt's portrayal of Victor Foss is a standout among the supporting cast. He plays the gambling industry insider and seasoned casino manager with a careful restraint, and his character's suspicions and eventual investigation switch up the tone of the film. Hurt is perfect for the role, and his theatrics elevate the film to the next level.

The movie's director Richard Kwietniowski creates a dark, bleak atmosphere that accentuates the story's tragic undertones. He captures the inner turmoil of Mahowny's character, but the technical aspects of the movie keep the attention of the audience. The film's pacing is handled well, with scenes of gambling and deception perfectly integrated into the story's structure.

Owning Mahowny is an excellent drama that portrays the ugly side of addiction with great power and conviction. It is a cautionary tale about the dangers of compulsive gambling and the toll it can take on one's life. While the story may be bleak, Hoffman's and Driver's performances make it compelling and sympathetic. It is a must-see for anyone interested in character-driven dramas or great acting performances, and ultimately it is a well-told story about human flaws that resonate with the audience.

Owning Mahowny is a Crime, Drama, Thriller movie released in 2003. It has a runtime of 104 min.. Critics and viewers have rated it moderate reviews, with an IMDb score of 7.0. It also holds a MetaScore of 70.

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7.0/10
70/100
Director
Richard Kwietniowski
Stars
Philip Seymour Hoffman, John Hurt, Minnie Driver, Maury Chaykin
Also directed by Richard Kwietniowski
Owning Mahowny is available on .