Awards season almost always comes down to front-runners, especially in the early days of the conversation. Right about now, folks are wondering if Leonardo DiCaprio or Brad Pitt are going to get the nod for their roles in ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD. Christian Bale and his role in FORD V FERRARI has people talking just as hotly.
But one name you’re definitely going to be hearing more about is Adam Sandler, as his work in the A24 suspense drama UNCUT GEMS is sure to continue to create buzz throughout the rest of the year. But could it get the legendary comedian his own first Academy Awards® nomination?
[(L-R) Kevin Garnett, Lakeith Stanfield, Adam Sandler. Photo by Julieta Cervantes]
It’s been almost two decades since Sandler has gotten this much praise, as his performance in writer-director Paul Thomas Anderson’s PUNCH-DRUNK LOVE was the last role that saw Adam Sandler shining this brightly in the spotlight. While that film got him a 2003 Golden Globes nomination for Best Actor (Motion Picture Musical or Comedy), it sadly did not lead to recognition by the Academy Awards voters, as some might have hoped.
With UNCUT GEMS, the Safdie brothers’ writing and directing talents have brought out a performance in Adam Sandler that could be argued as even better than his previously well-regarded turn.
[(L-R) Eric Bogosian, Adam Sandler. Photo by Julieta Cervantes]
As the film’s morally compromised protagonist, Howard Ratner, Sandler not only gets to work his dramatic muscles in fine form, but he also gets to put some of his classic likability into the mix. Howard’s not a clear-cut "bad guy" so much as he’s just really good at making mistakes.
Throughout the entirety of UNCUT GEMS, the audience is allowed to root for him and chastise his life choices in equal measure. The ebb and flow between both of those moods is what makes the Safdie brothers’ latest film a roller coaster ride of emotions, with a constant mounting pressure making things tenser by the second. And at the eye of that particular hurricane is Adam Sandler, delivering the goods like a total maniac, as you can see for yourself in the film's trailer, presented below.
Anything can happen between now and the real thick of awards season, and even an outstanding performance as Adam Sandler’s in UNCUT GEMS isn’t a sure thing. But we’d still put money down on it, as it’s work so good, it’s hard to ignore.
UNCUT GEMS is now playing at an AMC near you as part of our AMC Artisan Films series.