Uncut Gems deserved better than it got this awards season. It will probably remain as one of my biggest snubs for a very long time. Owing to the fact, I’ve been unable to shake it from my head since seeing it back in October as the surprise film at the London Film Festival. The film is wholly gripping and has probably one of the most intense final acts that have ever been put to film.
This film is the follow up to 2017’s ‘Good Time’ for The Safdie Brothers. This time around, they get Adam Sandler to star as a Jeweller in New York with a significant gambling addiction and overall lousy life choice. He owes money to a lot of people and continues to place bets in an attempt to win enough to pay back his debts.
He doesn’t just do his gambling on sports he does this on a mysterious black diamond from Africa. It’s utterly mental from time to time with weird hallucinogenic and spiritual reactions from famous rappers and basketball players to this unique diamond. There are some hilarious moments and as you can guess some really odd cameos such as The Weekend. They work though. It never feels laughable like a lot of celebrity cameos in bigger budget movies.
Sandler is impressive in his role. For some reason, not a lot of people know him for his dramatic and more serious work. I would guess this is because there is not enough of it out there for people to see. Still, when he isn’t making films like ‘Pixels’ and ‘The Ridiculous Six’, you can find him in films like Men, Women and Children and one of my all-time favourite movies, Punch-Drunk Love.
He is truly capable of some great performances, and Uncut Gems is another brilliant one for him to add to his filmography. The film has excellent supporting performances. That feature the likes of Idina Menzel and Lakeith Stanfield who don’t seem to be getting as much praise as Sandler but are equally as brilliant in their roles.
The film is incredibly energetic and tense thanks to the Safdies and their incredible style of filmmaking. It is the kind of stuff that pulls you in and makes you watch every second of it. Many times, I found myself leaning forward in my seat because something had truly gripped me; my hands would sweat specifically during the shocking finale. There is absolutely some effortless style in a way that most films do not have these days. The films score and cinematography are also top-notch and deserve much more recognition.
The Safdie Brothers are certainly now the biggest directors to watch going forward. ‘Good Time’ was easily one of my favourites from that release year, and I can see Uncut Gems staying in my 2020 top 10 in December it is that good.
Still, it remains a massive shame that we won’t be seeing anyone from the team picking up awards they rightfully deserve at the Oscars this year. That doesn’t mean the film isn’t good; it just means that the film has been overlooked by the small amounts of people that vote on these awards. The film is excellent and can easily stand on its own as a genuinely brilliant film which will hopefully continue to be talked about for years to come.
It has managed to operate in an area that makes it both appreciated and underappreciated as this is now one of A24’s highest-grossing releases after all. The film finally hits Netflix in the UK this week after a relatively small run in cinemas giving even more people a chance to catch this genuinely fantastic movie. So, go. Watch it. Now.