2019’s Uncut Gems was for me a pleasant surprise–though the movie, due to it’s particularly dark subject matter–was not ‘pleasant’ in the typical sense of the word.
That’s not to say that it isn’t worth seeing, but it’s very much adult in terms of its language, themes and sensibilities.
The movie is a treatise on addiction–in this instance to gambling–and how it gradually destroys a jeweler named Harold Ratner (Adam Sandler).
What’s interesting is that it’s a dramatic turn by Adam Sandler, but his Harold Ratner, no matter how deep he got in, was a character that as a viewer I couldn’t get behind.
In fact, in the entire movie there’s no one that I particularly liked. Literally everyone in the movie I felt some level of disdain for, which made it a more difficult watch than I’m accustomed.
Such a level of nihilism-tainted realism is a bit unusual in movies, and certainly not something I’m known to seek out so it was in someways a welcome change from the usual though I certainly wouldn’t make a habit of watching movies that are so demanding.
It’s worth mentioning that it shares a tendency that I equate with ‘good’ movies, namely it made me think and feel, which is quite an achievement in a media landscape that seems designed to either numb or distract.