Alice King
October 17, 2003 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Owning Mahowny

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
R
runtime
107 minutes
Limited Release Date
05/02/03
performer
Minnie Driver, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Maury Chakin, John Hurt, Sonja Smits
director
Richard Kwietniowski
distributor
Sony Pictures Classics
author
Maurice Chauvet, Richard Kwietniowski
genre
Comedy, Mystery and Thriller

We gave it a B-

Nobody plays shlubby, quiet desperation quite like Hoffman, whose Dan Mahowny is a nondescript bank manager with a ”financial problem.” He’s been stealing from his clients’ considerable funds to feed a serious gambling addiction and fend off lenders. It’s a virtuoso performance, based on the true story of Canada’s largest one-man bank fraud, but there’s a catch. Hoffman assumes the least attractive aspects of addiction: Employees at the flashy Vegas casino he frequents call his character the Iceman, not because he’s fearsome, but because he’s dead-eyed, whether he’s up a million or down — and it’s difficult to summon much sympathy for a man so blandly driven to destruction. EXTRAS None.

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