Adam Sandler joins forces with filmmakers Benny and Josh Safdie in the trailer for their new crime comedy-drama, Uncut Gems. The latest addition to the Safdie Brothers' growing body of anxiety-fueled offerings, Uncut Gems takes place in New York City's diamond district, where jeweler Howard Ratner (Sandler) is constantly hunting the next big score. Following its screenings at the Telluride and Toronto festivals, the film is already generating awards buzz for Sandler's performance as its despicably charismatic protagonist, in addition to the Safdies' direction.
Uncut Gems is part of A24's fall 2019 slate, along with It Comes at Night director Trey Edward Shults' drama Waves and The Witch filmmaker Robert Eggers' horror movie The Lighthouse. It's a smart decision on the studio's part after they released the Safdies' last film, Good Time, in the middle of August, at a time when it couldn't really break out as a counter programing option. By comparison, the studio is giving Uncut Gems a proper Oscar push, beginning with its first trailer.
A24 dropped the Uncut Gems trailer online today, following the poster's release yesterday. You can check both out in the space below.
Powered by Good Time composer Daniel Lopatin's propulsive score for the film, the Uncut Gems trailer hits the ground running and never lets up - much like one of the Safdies' actual movies. And while it doesn't spell out the plot in clear-cut terms, the preview offers an intriguing glimpse of what's to come in the film proper. Among other things, it shows Howard wheeling and dealing his way throughout New York, conspiring with people like the NBA veteran Kevin Garnett (as himself), disappointing his significant other, Dinah (Idina Menzel), and, at one point, getting punched in the nose for his duplicitous ways (hence, his appearance on the poster). Overall, Uncut Gems seems to be, er, cut from the same cloth as the Safdie Brothers' previous work, from its stylishly scuzzy urban scenery to Sandler as its unscrupulous, yet almost charmingly relentless protagonist.
Speaking of which: it will be interesting to see if Uncut Gems ultimately lands Sandler an acting Oscar nomination. This isn't the first time he's strayed away from his lowbrow comedies and tried his hand at something more challenging (a la Punch-Drunk Love, The Meyerowitz Stories), but the festival buzz is that Sandler really stepped up his game this time around. The trailer supports the idea, confirming that Sandler gets to flex both his comedy and dramatic acting muscles as Howard, rather that being purely serious. Either way, Uncut Gems is definitely something that film buffs will want to keep an eye out for when it arrives this December.