Owning Mahoney Richard Kwietniowski

Owning Mahoney Richard Kwietniowski
Based on a true story, Owning Mahoney is the tale of a meek Toronto bank manager with a gambling addiction who embezzles millions of dollars in order to fund his high-stakes addiction in Atlantic City and Las Vegas. Dan Mahoney (a stellar Philip Seymour Hoffman) is a serious gambler — no drink, no drugs, no sex, just cards, dice and chips. And while Hoffman's character study is compelling enough, his descent isn't exactly cinematically ripe material. Absent the kind of rise and fall that can make these tales compelling (like the gangster communities of Goodfellas or Casino), Owning Mahoney falls short of the one thing it needs to do: letting us inside Mahoney's head. The book upon which the film is based, Stung: The Incredible Obsession of Brian Maloney by Gary Stephen Ross, is in the end probably much more compelling than the film. It's no fault of the filmmakers, but Mahoney's very insular tendencies sap the film of its visceral excitement. The DVD issue has an opportunity to flesh out this tale with context and background — on gambling, on the Canadian banking industry, on Mahoney himself — but falls short with only a typical promotional featurette. (Alliance)