Fantastic Films and Where to Find Them: ‘Uncut Gems’ (2019)

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The film “Uncut Gems” , Adam Sandler takes a break from his usual comedy, anchors on in a more serious role that embraces its chaotic nature, taking you on a trip on the lifestyle of Howard Ratner. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

Josh and Benny Safdie’s anxiety-inducing thriller “Uncut Gems” surprisingly didn’t receive a single Oscar nomination in the 2020 season.  

It deserved one. 

The Safdie brothers bring viewers a film that embraces its chaotic nature, connecting you to the lifestyle of the main character. 

Adam Sandler, the star of this film, diverts away from his regular comedic characters with his role. Sandler plays Howard Ratner, an owner of a jewelry store in New York City’s diamond district. Ratner’s many character flaws are explored throughout the film. 

Sandler delivers an incredible performance in “Uncut Gems,” quite possibly the best of his career. He spectacularly embodies all the complex aspects of his character, while also bringing a great charisma to the role. Though you don’t necessarily love his character, you can’t help but watch him because of the energy Sandler gives the character. 

“Sandler delivers an incredible performance in “Uncut Gems,” quite possibly the best of his career. He spectacularly embodies all the complex aspects of his character, while also bringing a great charisma to the role”

To go along with Sandler’s strong performance, the supporting actors also do a brilliant job playing their roles. Lakeith Stanfield is great in this film, again showcasing his wide range as an actor. Julia Fox, Idina Menzel and Kevin Garnett play supporting roles in “Uncut Gems,” all having standout scenes. Eric Bogosian and Keith William Richards also have a great screen presence in this movie, helping increase the tension in many scenes. The film employs many non-actors — such as the aforementioned Garnett, who portrays himself — which provides some authenticity to the film. 

The dialogue in “Uncut Gems” also has that authenticity, showcased in countless sequences where characters talk over one another. Though this style may bother some viewers, it does make the film more realistic and grounded than other movies. The plot itself is well-written, with a solid structure, strong character arcs and compelling thematic messaging. 

The movie is well-directed and choreographed, with some incredible visual sequences and moments that will be surely remembered after viewing. 

If I were to have any gripes, it would be I think the film could have had a different starting point. The film opens in a different location and tone than the rest of the film, making it feel a bit out of place. While the open sequence does hit on an interesting theme, that theme isn’t tackled again during the rest of the film. Thus, I think the movie could have used the scene right after the credits as its opening scene. 

In conclusion, this picture is one of the most anxiety-inducing films of the last decade, with great performances, strong writing and direction. For those reasons, “Uncut Gems” can be considered a fantastic film. 

Where to Find “Uncut Gems”: Streaming on Netflix 

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