Uncut Gems

uncut gems 2

By Joanna Langfield

The Safdie brothers have served up an ear blasting, soul piercing, and pretty damn thrilling take on how the American Dream can go very, very wrong.

In his best performance yet, Adam Sandler (yes, Adam Sandler) stars as a modern day jeweler with an office tucked away in New York’s Diamond District. Howard Ratner is in trouble. Up to his eyeballs in debt, Howard knows he’s this close to making that big score. He’ll be fine. His family will be fine. His girlfriend will be fine. All he’s gotta do is get Kevin Garnett to buy the chunk of gems just in from Africa. Or score huge at an auction. Or have his numbers come in on the game. Any game.

Howard is cocaine personified. Constantly moving, shaking things up. He vibrates his way across 47th Street to the pawnbroker. He prowls around his suburban home, flicks through his glitzy pied-a-terre, constantly texting, checking the scores. But Howard’s no shirker. He really does plan on paying everybody back, on doing at least some good for the wife and kids. He shows up for school plays and Passover. He does believe. And, thanks to Sandler’s beautifully calibrated performance, so do we. Or at least so do we want to.

The Safdie style may not be for everyone, especially if they are looking for an easily digestible, feel good entertainment. But, oh, what a treat those people are missing. Yes, this is a noisy, almost relentless movie. It should be. It’s about high livers in New York. But there are quieter moments, scenes that nail a certain type of American Jewish life, which are presented with the same “here you go” as is Sandler’s Hanukah Song. It is, as one of the year’s other best films tells us, what it is. And I loved it.

One Response to “Uncut Gems”

  1. Uncut Gems | The Movie Minute Says:

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