‘Uncut Gems’: The Sandman gets no love

Orval Howard

Adam Sandler gives the performance of a lifetime in ‘Uncut Gems’, directed by the Safdie brothers. Sandler turns his back to comedy to play a totally different role than most people are used to.

The film follows Sandler, who plays a jeweler during a rough few days in his life. At the very beginning of the film, we understand that Sandler does not know how to handle his money responsibly. He is in debt with a lot of people, yet he continues to gamble all his money for his big win. He thinks he can earn all the money he owes to people in one bet even though he continues to lose money.

This is an intense film! The script is gold. People do not talk as they usually do in film. It is very realistic with people interrupting others or talking over them. The dialogue creates a claustrophobic atmosphere that will give you anxiety. It always feels like Sandler is always in trouble or about to lose his mind.

The Safdie brothers’ previous film, ‘Good Time’, was also a critical hit. That film blew expectations with Robert Pattinson as ‘Uncut Gems’ has done with Sandler. The brothers know how to blow casting expectations out of the water and carry actors to great performances.

The buzz around this film came from Sandler. He is widely known for his comedy roles, though he has delivered some dramatic roles in his career. However, this film is the most intense Sandler has ever been. He plays the character with so much charisma that, even though he is a scum bag, we care about his actions. He never comes off as a bad guy with the way Sandler portrays him. There were even times that I was rooting for him to succeed.

Since the Oscars have come and gone, I thought it was appropriate to review this film because Sandler was snubbed for an Academy nomination.

This was one of my favorite performances of 2019 and Sandler did not receive the praise that he deserved. He has proven before that he can turn in some great performances with the right script and director. This film was different though. He completely disappeared in this role and defied expectations.

There were times that I was in awe of how great Sandler was in this film. I was thinking the whole time, “How was Sandler not nominated?” 

I hope Sandler continues to test his acting skills because it was a joy to see what he can do. When he is given the right opportunity, Sandler can perform better than most who are working in Hollywood.

Whatever the reasons for the award snubs, this film deserves to be seen a thousand times. It has amazing acting by everyone involved, great directing and an eerie atmosphere.

‘Uncut Gems’ is worth every penny you spend to watch it. I promise that you will be blown away by the end of the film. When the credits roll, you will sit on the couch with a feeling of relief due to the intensity.