Uncut Gems was one of the best movies of 2019, with Adam Sandler in an unfamiliar role in a drama.
Sandler has made his name for his comedy, and it is not often that you see him in a serious role on screen. However, he has a lot more than just comic timing in his repertoire, and has done extremely well whenever he has had a different role. ‘Uncut Gems’ is probably his finest work on screen, and he has received rave reviews for the same from critics and fans alike.
‘Uncut Gems’ is a story of a Jewish jeweler, played by Sandler, who also has an unhealthy gambling addiction, and ends up losing a very expensive and rare gem due to his gambling habits, and thus must scramble to retrieve it. The movie, directed by the brothers Josh and Benny Safdie, is an excellent crime thriller, with Sandler playing his part perfectly as the addict who is now stuck with a huge debt which he must pay off soon. The rest of the cast are also exceptional, while the writing and screenplay is also top-notch, showing the Safdie brothers’ talents and catapulting them to the mainstream Hollywood scene. The movie does a great job of showing the downside of racking up huge gambling debts, whether it be at the best online casinos or through sports betting, which is how Sandler’s character tries to redeem himself. Interestingly, Boston Celtics player Kevin Garnett appears as himself in the movie, and the bet on his performance is what could potentially save Howard Ratner, the jeweler played by Adam Sandler.
Another interesting note about this movie is that it was released worldwide on Netflix, with a limited theatrical run in the US to allow it to qualify for the various movie awards, and it has now finally been released on the streaming service in the US as well. Sandler has a whole host of movies available on Netflix, and he is one of the most popular actors on the service, even if his movies may not be all that good. Sandler had prioritized quantity over quality in the 2000s, racking up 24 movies between 2000 and 2015. While these movies did well initially, they began to sag as the movie industry changed and big-budget franchises became the name of the game. After Sony Pictures, who were Sandler’s biggest backers early on, turned down a movie idea from him in 2014, Netflix swooped in and signed a four-picture deal with his production company, Happy Madison, which has since then even been extended. This partnership has been a huge hit for both parties, and there are some very specific reasons for this.
According to Netflix, viewers have spent over 2 billion hours watching Sandler’s Netflix original content since 2015. ‘Murder Mystery’ was viewed by over 83 million people within four weeks of its release on Netflix. This shows just how popular he has been with fans, even though his movies have never been acclaimed critically. This is why ‘Uncut Gems’ is a rarity in Sandler’s career – not just because he plays a serious role in a serious movie, but because his performance has actually been widely praised.
On Netflix, however, it is Sandler’s comedy which holds sway, with surveys of fans showing that his staple fare is what fans like the most, since it is easy to consume and simple to watch. This makes it perfect for both Netflix and the actor, since the streaming service doesn’t really push its content through promotion a lot, but relies on its data to give the consumers what they want. And the verdict has been clear, that audiences want more and more of Sandler’s comedy.
Music, gigs, beer, football. Like to discover new music, and support local acts. Favourite bands include Beatles, Elbow, Frightened Rabbit, The Walkmen amongst many others. Journalist for local news providers, including Trinity Mirror and BBC.