Monday, December 30, 2019

Uncut Gems, 2019 - ★★★½

The Safdie Brother have created a raw and real look at the NYC underbelly and in the process have given Adam Sandler another "dramatic" role to sink his teeth into. Sandler plays Howard Ratner, a NYC jeweler who is addicted to betting on sports. The movie gets ramped up at times especially in the jewelry store scenes where everyone is yelling and vamping on top of one another. I found these scenes to be particularly annoying as it seems that everyone is trying to yell louder than one another. I suppose the Safdies were trying to make the audience uncomfortable here and it worked, but I didn't find this rewarding at all.

Sandler is serviceable here in the lead role but he really just yells and yells like he does in his famous comedy roles. There's nothing groundbreaking about his performance. I also really hated the score in this film by Daniel Lopatin. It didn't compliment any of the scenes and actually served as a distracting presence throughout.

The real star of this movie is Kevin Garnett who plays a 2012 version of himself with authenticity and a sense of realness. As an NBA fan it was pretty cool to see real-life playoffs clips spliced with the dramatic context of the fictional narrative. The perils of sports gambling are brought to the forefront with a shocking ending that makes up for some of the over-the-top acting/screaming along the way.

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