Uncut Gems (2019)

This film is unrelenting. It has the pace and trajectory of the chrome ball in a pinball machine, careering from one barrier to the next, always falling towards a hole. Adam Sandler is phenomenal as the fast talking gem-merchant hustling his way through an out of control gambling addiction. His performance is as strong as anything I’ve seen this year. He brings an optimistic charm to an otherwise despicable man. There’s no vanity here, only glory in finding the excesses of a man who just can’t help himself. The kinetic force of Safdie Brother’s filmmaking puts me in mind of 90’s Ferrara. There’s a grittiness to their shooting style that’s as full of interesting choices as their music cues. Another lesson from Netflix on how to make films that are wonderfully original, and not based on established intellectual property. I’m struggling to think of a better film this year. Adam Sandler should take home awards for his performance.


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