If you had Adam Sandler in your Oscar pool, I bet you have a cocky smirk on your face right about now. A prediction like that is so ludicrous that the only way it cashes out for you is if you engaged in some sort of witchcraft. And yet, here we are. The new trailer for “Uncut Gems” just dropped on the interwebs a few hours ago and Adam Sandler, of all people, is garnering serious Oscar Buzz, and now I’m terrified because it seems we live in a world where witches are real. Also, Mike Francesa, the New York sports radio talk show host that is wrong with predictions so often it is almost impressive, appears to be co-starring in it too, and dropping F-bombs, making this possibly the most unlikely success story in human history.
I am not 100% sure what the film is about based on the trailer but it certainly grabbed my attention. Sandler looks like he is playing a sleazy jeweler with a high stakes gambling problem and that subject-matter is ripe for compelling narratives to be harvested from. And while it appears there are splashes of the type of comedy that Sandler made his name on, the role is probably more of a dramatic one, which is a task he has not attempted much in his career. But if you think this is all smoke and that there is no way Adam Sandler can actually succeed in this type of film, let us not forget that he was actually nominated for a Golden Globe as a lead Actor in the Paul Thomas Anderson film “Punch-Drunk Love” in 2003, so we know he is capable of this if he is given the right material.
Adam Sandler is perhaps one of the most divisive figures in Hollywood, which is odd when you consider the most scandalous action he ever engaged in was “Jack and Jill”. If you honestly think about it, the only thing this man did to get people to hate him was release a couple of really crappy movies, and if you consider the actual terrible people that have infested the movie industry throughout history, maybe Sandler doesn’t deserve the animosity he tends to receive. We treat him like he committed a crime but he only made some lazy films where he yells and goes on vacation with his friends from the 90s.
Still, if there is anything Hollywood loves more than itself, it is a good comeback story. The man who created some of the most beloved comedies of the 1990s has produced cinematic excrement since his 2005 remake of “The Longest Yard”, and almost 15 years later, finally rises beyond his own reputation with a performance that is expected to give dramatic heavy hitters like Leonardo DiCaprio and Joaquin Phoenix a run for their money during award season. Hell, it’s so cliché for Hollywood that I could see a movie made about this in 10 years that would also get Oscar Buzz. For what it is worth, Sandler did earn 2 Emmy nominations this year for the first time since 1993. Getting an Oscar nomination too might be just enough to convince me that we are living in a simulation and the operators are just dialing up the ridiculousness-levels as high as they can before we wise up.
I really hope this movie is as good as people think it is going to be. Even if I haven’t been the biggest Sandler fan this century, I still love the idea of another great movie out there and I am rooting for him to deliver. What do you guys think? Are you excited about Adam Sandler’s resurgence or could you give less of a shit? Do you think “Uncut Gems” has the potential others seem to think it does? Anyway, here is the “Chanukah Song”!