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Uncut Gems

Adam Sandler plays Howard Ratner, a rather shady Jewish jeweler whose life is not working out from any angle. His marriage is ending; he is in a rocky relationship with a girlfriend, and he owes money – lots of money – to various loan sharks. He is constantly “robbing Peter to pay Paul” to keep just a half a step ahead of his creditors. He gets a rock from Africa that contains large precious stones – uncut gems – that he expects is going to turn his life around. The directors create a dizzying pace that never lets up and that makes the viewer feel as trapped as Howard. I was always on the edge anticipating the worst as he barely gets himself out of one situation and plunges headlong into the next with no break. Sandler is exceptional as Howard and gives what I think is his best-ever performance; it is as though the role was written directly with him in mind. He creates a character you simultaneously despise and feel sympathetic with. Big thumbs up from me; Sandler should get an Oscar nomination for this performance. (2019; 4.5 Stars).

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