UNCUT GEMS SPEC D: Benny Safdie, Josh Safdie. U.S. 134 min. Sep 14, 1 pm, Ryerson; Sep 15, 6 pm, Ryerson. Rating: NNNNN
Adam Sandler is brilliant in Uncut Gems, but that comes as no surprise.
Sandler can bring it: Punch-Drunk Love wasn’t a fluke and You Don’t Mess With The Zohan ain’t nothing to sniff at. Alternating between soft-spoken schlub and raging ass is a Sandler specialty. Like Punch-Drunk Love director Paul Thomas Anderson, the Safdie Brothers know how to exploit that for something great.
The filmmaking duo – the electrifying heirs apparent to Scorsese – spin an even bigger, seemingly more out-of-control thriller than their last outing Good Time. Sandler plays a New York City jeweller gaming his customers, family and friends while betting against his own life at every turn.
The movie is dark and wickedly funny. And Uncut Gems is long but never drags; there’s so much propulsive, forward momentum even when the characters never get anywhere.