Movie of the Week: Uncut Gems (2019)

The Safdie Brothers direct Adam Sandler, Julia Fox and Eric Bogosian in this comedy thriller where a sleazy diamond dealer starts placing wild bets using his and everyone else’s property as collateral.

Watch seedy Happy Gilmore (all that rage, all that glorious, toxic masculine rage) throw his life away one terrible decision at a time. Watch Julia Fox in a star making turn – sexy, vulnerable, matching her comedy mega star line-for-line, thrash-for-thrash. Watch those credits… there’s something about an on-location Manhattan shoot and the particular font chosen that pleasingly harks back to Wall Street or Fatal Attraction or any number of adult entertainments from the 1980s. Watch the shuddering pace of the comedy set pieces… Sandler’s desperate pleaser unable to get a security door open is five minute comedy masterclass, accentuated by the fact that the punchline might be his ruin or death rather than a mere pratfall. The closest existent movie I could compare it to is Locke. A thriller where we are stuck with a constantly moving man scrabbling in existential quicksand. The difference is while Hardy’s construction expert tried his best to solve his multitude problems on his phone, Sandler’s Howard Ratner seems content shovelling more and more weight on to himself. The Safdie Brothers immersive, kinetic direction and editing make you hold his hand, look him straight in the eye as he continually burns bridges and breaks bad. This is powerhouse stuff… Sandler deserve full credit for owning the screen the entire journey and taking us to hell and back and then turning it around and going further than hell itself. Intense Saturday night brilliance.

10

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