When a charismatic New York City jeweler immerses for the next big thing, stakes are raised and the bets are set as Howard must perform a precarious high-wire act, balance his business, family, and swarms of anniversaries, in the relentless pursuit for the ultimate and lucrative win.
Participating once again with the film distribution company A24, brothers Josh and Benny Safdie embark on another film just two years after their thrilling, distinctive drama Good Time. Starring Robert Pattinson, the film turned the heads of critics, festivals and fans all across the world with their exhilarating effect and signature gutter realism surrounding the dark and dangerous telling of the criminal underworld. Announcing that they had wrote the screenplay alongside Ronald Bronstein (who also co-wrote Good Time), the Safdie brothers could enthrall us once again with Uncut Gems, which undoubtedly tells us that we’re in for yet another wild ride.
After hitting festival circuits last month during the Telluride Film Festival, Uncut Gems is already receiving major critical praise and a high amount of anticipation from fans worldwide. In fact, the film is currently sitting at a 95% over on Rotten Tomatoes with just thirty-six reviews—showcasing yet again how the latest powerhouse siblings are some of the best filmmakers chronicling the industry today. Plus, it’s pretty impressive as the film is still months away from being released.
After the release of the teaser trailer, excitement grew a lot more quickly than we all thought as it was announced A24 would be dropping the full trailer in less than five days—and that moment arrived Tuesday. Showcasing a selection of karmic power from the stones that utilize Uncut Gems, the two and a half minute trailer jumped right into the authentic directing from the Safdie brothers and the naturalistic performances that came along with it. Whether it be from the entrancing color palette or the fast-paced energy that lingered within each captivating scene, the duo’s signature style was smeared all over the footage—and you can check it out for yourself below:
The footage from the trailer follows Howard Ratner (Sandler) in Manhattan’s diamond district, obtaining a rare Ethiopian opal in which then-NBA Celtics player Kevin Garnett shows great interest. The basketball star borrows the stone as a gift of good-luck, and well, believing in the gem’s power, Ratner embarks on the betting cycle and starts to deal within the subsequent Celtics game—making a high-risk move. He even says in one scene: “I made a crazy risk, a gamble, and it’s about to pay off,“—but, as the chaotic scenes go by, that doesn’t seem likely.
Ratner is faced with extreme backlash towards his obsessive gambling and makes those affiliated with him demand their money back after he uses it to place countless bets. Leading to dangerous situations where Sandler’s character gets punched in the face, thrown into the back of a car, and yells at his wife Dinah (Idina Menzel), to “get the kids out of the house,” it’s, without a doubt, going to be one bumpy ride.
Just like we saw in Good Time, the Safdie brothers have reinforced what looks to be a stellar cast. As our money-grubbing jewelry dealer Howard Ratner, Adam Sandler takes the light—and from the looks of the trailer, he fits into the role quite well. Whether he’s calling demands through a raspy voice or getting punched in the face in the middle of New York City, the versatile actor of the past three decades evolves into this new character without hesitation. For a while now, Sandler has indulged in a series of comedic projects that downplay the cinematic force he used to obtain. Back in 2002, he proved to the industry that he could act with abilities that were demonstrated in Paul Thomas Anderson’s Punch-Drunk Love, and again with his performance in Reign Over Me—and at last, he’s stretching his acting legs once more.
The film also includes Lakeith Stanfield (Get Out, Sorry To Bother You) as Demany, Idina Menzel (Frozen, Rent) as Howard’s wife Dinah, Eric Bogosian (SubUrbia, Talk Radio) as Amo, Pom Klementieff (Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Ingrid Goes West) as Lexus, and Judd Hirsch (Independence Day, The Meyerowitz Stories) as Gooey. The cast also includes upcoming actors Noa Fisher, Keith Williams and Julia Fox, as well as Canadian singer-songwriter The Weeknd as himself. But that isn’t the only celebrity cameo, as professional basketball player Kevin Garnett is also featured in the trailer and is expected to acquaint to himself as well.
The Release Date
After its screening at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 9, 2019, Uncut Gems is scheduled to have a limited release on December 13, 2019 and a wide release on December 25, 2019—we couldn’t be more excited.
Judging by the reviews rounded up from The Guardian, Metacritic and Rotten Tomatoes, we’re in for a real treat. Praised for remarkable performances, cinematography and the Safdie brothers returning as the masters of anxiety-inducing cinema, Ratner’s phrase “This is me. This is how I win” might just be indicated towards the audience instead: because it’ll be us watching the acclaimed masterpiece play before our very eyes on Christmas day…not him.