When you see Adam Sandler billed as the lead in a film, your expectations are pretty instantly set low. You’re going to expect just another silly slapstick comedy full of bad jokes and weak storylines. Uncut Gems is the complete polar opposite, and sees Sandler step out of his comfort zone, taking on a very serious and straight role. Something we haven’t seen since 2009’s Funny People, which even then still had a comedy slant to it.
Sandler stars as Jewish jeweller Howard Ratner, who works in New York’s Diamond District. Howard is also a gambling addict, owing several people large amounts of money, but that won’t slow him down. Howard continues to gamble, making the biggest bet of his life, and relying on the sale of a rare Black Opal to pay off his debts. Along the way Howard’s business partners, family and even an NBA superstar is dragged into his master-plan.
Uncut Gems is a very fast paced crime thriller that takes off straight out of the gate. Howard is a fast talker, always making deals and schemes to get more money to gamble. The film does slow down at moments, but the quick pace and fast talking is anxiety inducing! But it kept me hooked in and guessing on what was coming next.
The story is well crafted and has several different levels, as well as some very interesting well thought out twists and turns, and a few shock surprises too. Ronald Bronstein did a fantastic job with this screenplay, and directors the Safdie Brothers did an incredible job bringing the film to life.
Adam Sandler is definitely a stand out in Uncut Gems, giving a riveting and emotional performance, making you feel sorry for a particularly toxic man. Breaking out of the comedy box and putting on this performance may give Sandler‘s career a new direction. I, for one, am all for it and look forward to seeing Sandler in more straight roles.
Uncut Gems is a must-see and a thrilling fast-paced roller coaster ride. I can understand the disappointment of the film being ignored by the Oscars, and I agree. It was definitely an Oscar worthy performance from Adam Sandler for his role as Howard Ratner. That being said, the film has still won a fair share of other awards. So what are you waiting for? Get out there and see Uncut Gems. It’s on Netflix, so you have no excuse!