Uncut Gems. 2019. USA. Directed by Benny Safdie, Josh Safdie. Screenplay by Benny Safdie, Josh Safide, Ronald Bronstein. With Adam Sandler, Julia Fox, Kevin Garnett. 135 min.
In Uncut Gems, a thriller 10 years in the making, the Safdie brothers take their gritty treatment of New York’s underbelly to dizzying new heights. Adam Sandler’s revelatory performance as a bullish jeweler down on his luck—a mensch who can’t resist a big play and only barely lands on his feet—propels this breathless character study that zigzags from the Diamond District (where Sadfie père worked) to the sidelines of the Boston Celtics (thanks to Kevin Garnett’s impressive acting debut). Rapid-fire, moody cinematography embodies the frantic stakes of each scheme, debt, and family drama; while the celebrity cameos of New York circa 2010 and Daniel Lopatin’s atmospheric score add to one of the year’s most satisfying cinematic experiences. Courtesy A24.