imdb / trailer

Hey folks, Pip here. I wanted to start up a series that visited films long since passed into the realm of DVD, but perhaps were missed by a great majority of people. We thought this would be good since sometimes I miss a film and need to tell people about it if it’s particularly worthy, as is the case with this one.

Phillip Seymour Hoffman (P.S.H.) can do no wrong. I even loved him when I first took notice of him back in Twister. He turned that movie into a sort of reverse-porno where instead of sex scenes you had tornadoes and fast forwarded through the tornadoes. So if you can do that, I assert you can do no wrong. As far as the film, it received almost no press when it came out and trying to search for reviews or other information is near-impossible. It was definitely swept under the rug. Why? I have no godly idea because it’s brilliant!

P.S.H., as in all of his films, completely transforms himself into the character and lives it. That said, it’s actually very painful watching Mahony do what he does. He is a loan officer with a Canadian bank that happens to have an extreme gambling addiction. He has the knowledge and the wherewithal to fuel it into an out of control spiral. I would equate watching this film to similar addiction films, a la Requiem for a Dream. It’s not the same millieu, but it feels almost as graphic only in a much different sense. It’s really hard to describe to tell you the truth.

The characters around P.S.H. are just as fleshed out and well acted. You have Minnie Driver playing his loving girlfriend, only she hardly plays the damsel in distress, nor his enabler. I found that very refreshing. You feel sorry for her because she loves him and wants to stand by him, but she’ll kick his ass before she sits and watches him burn in flames. John Hurt is always amazing and seems to have a long term working relationship with the director, Richard Kwietniowski.

This is based on a true story and adapted from a book detailing the case. In the end he defrauds the bank for an incredible amount of money, especially considering inflation adjusted for early 80’s dollars. Hoffman plays Mahony in such a heartbreakingly true way that I could barely watch. I wonder if he emulated the real man? Kwietniowski’s hand is amazing and I plan on catching up on the rest of his work. One doesn’t spew out a masterpiece like this without the history to back it up in most cases. Owning Mahony is probably difficult to find in a local rental store, but online it’s no problem to rent or buy. I would highly suggest it for an evening relaxed, hefty drama mixed in with yet another brilliant performance by my main man Phillip Seymour Hoffman.


3 Responses to “Rewind #1: Owning Mahony”

  1. Celera on February 2nd, 2008 4:26 pm

    Twister was about tornadoes? Dang, I would have watched that! I thought it was about that game where you put your hands and feet on the dots. And Hoffman just doesn’t seem like he would be very good at that game.

    Seriously, he is a great actor, I never paid much attention to him until Capote but now I’ve seen him in other stuff too and it’s very impressive.

  2. Rachel on February 3rd, 2008 11:07 am

    Haha! I can just see Hoffman trying to play the game Twister! LOL

    But seriously I love him, even though I have yet to see Owning Mahony, Pip has just raved about…Hoffman can do no wrong indeed.

  3. Mentok the Mindtaker on February 4th, 2008 11:16 am

    Thanks for the informative review. I’ve passed by that movie in the rental store dozens of times but had always previously blown it off as Can-Con trash.

    Canadian networks are required by law to carry a certain percentage of original Canadian content. Increasingly, they are investing in decent productions, but traditionally they just cranked out low-budget fulfill-the-letter-of-the-law junk.

    So I’m glad to hear this wasn’t the case here. I’ll have to check it out.

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