Uncut Gems – 2019

  • Originality: Gambling movies aren’t extremely common, jewelry store movies even less so, but combining both of them into one hasn’t really been done before. There is something so original about this film that it almost feels like its a behind-the-scenes featurette on ESPN meant to give color to Kevin Durant’s career. Describing it that way might seem negative, but it is assuredly not. [5.0]
  • Performances: This is probably a career best for Sandler and the way he disappears into his role is unlike any performance he’s ever given and within a few minutes it doesn’t even feel like Sandler. Kevin Durant gives a surprising performance as himself and his natural talent shows as he goes head to head with Sandler in some great scenery-chewing moments. [5.0]
  • Technicality: The Safdie brothers are not names that anyone really knew 5 years ago, but they show their knack for direction with the cinéma vérité style makes this film feel like a documentary about terrible decisions. The over-the-shoulder filming as they follow Sandler through his day-to-day life highlights the almost guerrilla filming technique and employing mostly non-professionals is the cherry on top. [4.5]
  • Rewatchability: There is no argument that this is a great film, possibly one of the best ones of the year, but it was an extremely stressful experience and not one that I am anxious to revisit. There is a lot of honesty in the storytelling and I am not one that needs a stress-free experience, but this film seemed like a showcase for Sandler and the Safdies’ talent and not one that needs my continuous viewing. [2.5]

Total – [17.0/20.0]

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