A diamond dealer readies for the biggest sale of his life.
Directed by Josh and Benny Safdie
Starring Adam Sandler, Julia Fox, and Kevin Garnett
Review by Jon Kissel
As much as I appreciate most of Uncut Gems, from the acting to the tone and a consistency in casting some of the ugliest mugs in the business, there is a sense I can’t shake that the film has too much sympathy for Howard. Something like spiritual cousin Wolf of Wall Street has contempt for its characters, and I didn’t smell contempt anywhere near Uncut Gems, despite Howard’s despicable actions. If the film’s about the addictive nature of capitalism, of wanting to dominate for no real reason or purpose beyond the domination itself, there’s a good chunk of the film that, based on how tacky and gaudy everything looks, resists any kind of lifestyle porn, a particular genre that I can’t stand. That same impulse however doesn’t extend to Howard himself. I love how this movie ends up, but I would love it even more if he lost his big bet, especially if he lost it on the opening tip. The griminess of Uncut Gems means I want everyone in it to fail, up to and including Julia who is so stupid that she would choose to spend time with Howard Ratner. Two hours and 15 minutes is my personal max. B+