Uncut Gems

Uncut Gems ★★★★★

"That's history right there."


If Good Time was the inescapable poverty-ridden downward spiral then Uncut Gems is the self-inflicted mortal coil. One that entraps family until they not only have the common sense to disregard blood-ties and leave the burden aside to the sole cause, but also increase it to avoid any association.

A bumblingly revelatory Adam Sandler grounds Howard Ratner’s scathingly comic full-throttle lust of addiction. Convincingly portraying an inability to secure the substantial through the distraction of the gleaming superficial, each facet of Ratner is brought to life in a tour-de-force of ludicrousness. In mere thought, I struggle to fathom how so much tumultuous stress can be embodied through the straight-up hysterical lens that Sandler offers, but the Safdies pull it off with definitively genius casting.

The unprecedented magnitude of Ratner’s actions is staggering. Rooted in the unrecognized trauma of exploited Ethiopian miners, tapping into the vacant haze of celebrity culture, and culminating in the clutch mayhem during an event held by one of the most heavily franchise fuelled organizations in history; the Safdies’ inject a hyperreal stream of capitalistic reflection that simply holds no bounds. All of this tied into the humble epicenter of a Jewish jewelry store owner who is laughably out of his depth.

However, what elevates Uncut Gems to a soaring masterwork, is how Ratner’s pathetic lifestyle culminates in a spiritual high that defines his existence; one that viscerally transcends the inevitable strike of the mortal coil to become a larger-than-life representation of everything he has lived for. Rarely has purpose been so tangibly expressed on celluloid, yet the Safdies make it seem like the most effortless thing in the world.

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