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TIFF 2019 Review: Uncut Gems

Adam Sandler might win an Oscar for this, and we should all be okay with that.

You’ll never cheer harder for a complete scumbag in your life.

Uncut Gems is the Safdie Brother’s unique type of cinema refined – it’s pure in authenticity, a complete rush of adrenaline, and every frame is filled with their unique blend of grit and beauty. Hate them or love them, the Safdie Brother’s have a vision and it feels like nothing else you’ve experienced.

An all star cast including LaKeith Stanfield, Kevin Garnett, and Idina Menzel is led by Adam Sandler in a role that can garner an Oscar. Finding the darkness in Howard Ratner’s life isn’t too hard. In fact, you could argue that he wears it on his sleeve. Uncut Gems feels like you’re watching a snake slither past roadblock after roadblock, and for some reason you can’t look away.

From the soundtrack to the incredible visual presence this film holds, Uncut Gems is engrossing in the best ways possible. Creating an energy in the theater that would rival the NBA Finals, the film paints the picture of a man in way too deep. The tensions ratchet as camera framing gets tighter and tighter, bringing you into the fold and suffocating you, much like our protagonist (questioning whether this is the right word in this circumstance). Colours are rich and purposeful, drawing your eyes where it’s needed and creating a frame that’s filled with beauty and substance.

It’s worth noting that this is a story, like most pieces of incredible cinema, is worthy of all screens, and will be coming to NETFLIX soon. Please keep making films at this level.

Lastly, find me another movie at TIFF that’s going to drop Meek Mill’s classic “Amen” as Adam Sandler walks into a club with a hot pink dress shirt.

Andrew Hamilton

Andrew Hamilton is a Toronto based filmmaker and creative mad man. Legend has it that he spent most of his childhood locked away in a cell beta testing Netflix.