Adam Sandler has always been beloved by fans and dismissed by critics, thanks to a vast body of work that ranges from truly idiotic, to tender and heartwarming. But that's changing. Sandler is stepping into Oscar bait territory with the lead role in Safdie Brothers' new thriller Uncut Gems. Naturally, circumcision jokes are already trending online. We'll just address them here: Sandler is a gem, but not uncut.
In the film, Sandler plays a goateed, philandering, extremely semitic New York City gem dealer, who supplies bling to rappers and NBA players, but gets in trouble through gambling and cheating on his wife, played by Idina Menzel. Jonah Hill was originally slated for the role after Sandler initially passed, but was switched out after his offbeat hero forbearer.
Sandler's gonna be glad he came around. Uncut Gems has everything the Academy adores: moody character acting, asymmetric pacing, and themes of violence, dysfunctional masculinity and the broken American dream. It's essentially an early '00s period piece (those tiny bifocals!), so bonus points for that. The flick also appears to dive into into Jewish identity politics — at one point in the trailer, Lakeith Stanton's character calls Sandler "a fucking crazy-ass jew."
If all that wasn't enough, there's also celeb cameos galore. The Weeknd and NBA legend Kevin Garnett both appear in the trailer, seemingly as an antagonist and gem customer respectively. The best parts of the clip include when (a.) Sandler shoves The Weeknd on his way out of a club and when he swears to a man who accuses him of resurfacing his swimming pool with borrowed money: "I never resurfaced anything!!!!"
Garnett is super excited about being in the movie, according to Instagram. Nearly excited as every Jewish male NBA fanatic under the age of 35 who took a film class in college.
I'm happy for Sandler, but it's looking likes Hustlers will never see that Best Picture nom it deserves.