Film Review: UNCUT GEMS (directed by Josh and Bennie Safdie)

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by Aveline MacQuoid on June 14, 2020

in Film


This movie, directed by Josh and Bennie Safdie, was released on Netflix and quickly became an industry favorite and garnered hundreds of rave reviews. It only recently became available to the citizens of the United States and now they too can enjoy this brilliant movie featuring Adam Sandler and Kevin Garnett.

The thing that shocked the audience is the quality of Adam Sandler’s performance. We all know him for his iconic roles in comedy films which is why it was unexpected to see him playing a role as serious as this one. But it must be said that even though he doesn’t act in a drama that often, whenever he does he tends to be absolutely breathtaking. He even got nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor for his portrayal of Howard Ratner in Uncut Gems.

The movie itself is a story about a Jewish gambler, who must retrieve a rare, expensive gem he owns in order to pay off his gambling debt. He is definitely not a casual player who enjoys playing at an online casino for real money, he is more like one of those high-rollers who always plays for high-stakes and does reckless things while in a casino.

This movie also does an excellent job of portraying a rare side of the sports industry with Boston Celtics forward Kevin Garnett playing himself. This portrayal of the sports world has even been called one of the most accurate ones out there. It does an amazing job of showing just how dedicated and sometimes addicted sports fans are towards their favorite sports teams.

Garnett’s role in this movie is way more interesting and deep after seeing Last Dance, the ESPN documentary on the Chicago Bulls. There is also an interesting parallel between real-life basketball and Uncut Gems and that is the fact that much like Sandler’s character, Michael Jordan was also extremely fond of gambling according to The Last Dance. The NBA legend was often found making bets on his golf games and often playing cards with some of his teammates and friends for thousands of dollars per hand. But the good thing is that even though Jordan always enjoyed a bet or two, his relationship with gambling was always healthy and he could stop at any time he wanted. He was addicted to competing and winning though and this is why he always needed to be immersed in some form of competitive activity and gambling was the perfect outlet for that.

There is one episode of Jordan’s career which all of his fans remember. It happened during the Eastern Conference finals against the New York Knicks. In the middle of the game, he took off to Atlantic City with family and friends and left his teammates flabbergasted. The bulls were 2-0 down in the series and Jordan still decided to take off to gamble. He, of course, got a lot of negative feedback for this but he has said that he was back in his hotel room by 1 am and that he needed the break to be able to take his focus away from the series and be able to relax a little bit to return fully charged for the rest of the playoffs.

The movie ‘The Last Dance focused a lot on Michael Jordan and his role in turning Chicago from no-hopers into one of the most successful NBA franchises ever. The series show how much of a competitive and driven player he was. He’s among some of the best NBA players ever and some people consider Garnett to be equally as driven as him. He always pushes himself and all of his teammates to give their absolute best on the court and that doesn’t go unnoticed.

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