Uncut Gems Review
Today I decided that I am going to post an Uncut Gems review. One of my favorite movies in the past couple years that has come out. Uncut Gems is an A24 film directed by the Sadfie brothers, who also directed another A24 classic in Good Time (starring Robert Pattinson). This film is starring Adam Sandler, Julia Fox, and with quite the surprise, Kevin Garnett, a retired NBA legend who played for the Boston Celtics. This film is set in New York City in 2012. Let’s get into this Uncut Gems review!
The film begins with a scene set in Africa where miners mine out a rare black opal stone. Jumping to 2012 New York City, Howard Ratner, played by Adam Sandler is the owner of a jewelry shop In New York Cities diamond district. Howard is also a gambling addict who is having a hard time paying off gambling debts to loan sharks and his peers. One of Howards business partners, Demony, who is connected with a lot of famous people in the city, brings in Kevin Garnett to the Jewelry shop.
While in the shop, the rare black opal from the beginning of the movie arrives at the shop. Garnett sees it and becomes infatuated with the idea that it will bring him good luck during his basketball games. Garnett is insisting on borrowing it for a game he had that night. As a collateral to taking Howards stone, Kevin offers up his 2008 NBA Finals championship ring.
I just want to talk about the scenes in the shop real quick. One thing that I noticed is that the scenes in the jewelry shop are always so stressful. There is always so much going on, with so many people, and a whole bunch of loud noises. I think it really speaks to this whole film. Every minute of it is one big ball of stress. I don’t think that is a bad thing either. It definitely kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time. OK back to the movie.
After Howard acquires Garnetts ring, he goes straight to the pawn shop. He pawns the ring to place a parlay bet on Garnett playing really well in the game that was that night thinking that it was the black opal that will allow him to play well. He wins the bet, with a potential payout of $600,000. However, Howards brother Arno, who is also the loan shark that Howard owes money pauses the bet using the money he placed on the bet. In result, Howard doesn’t win the money. All the while, two of his family members Phil and Nico are chasing him around the city trying to get more money that Howard owes him.
To retrieve the black opal from Demany, Howard goes to a party in the city that The Weeknd is performing at. Howard figures out that Kevin Garnett still has the Howards business partner and also girlfriend Julia is at the party flirting around with the Weeknd. Howard sees this and gets angry at Julia and abandons the party.
Kevin Garnett brings the opal back to the jewelry shop, and offers to purchase it for $175,000. Howard then refuses to sell it to Garnett given that the opal is appraised at a significantly higher price. Just before the auction for the opal starts, Howard figures out that the second appraisal for the opal came out to be significantly less than the $1 million that he thought it was. Knowing that Kevin Garnett is at the auction trying to buy the opal for less than he wants, Howard gets his father in law, Gooey to bid and drive up the price of the opal.
Unfortunately Howards plan backfires on him. Garnett did not bid higher than Gooey, and he has to buy the opal since he won the auction. Howards brother in laws, Phil and Nico are waiting for Howard outside the auction house, and they beat him up. A beat up Howard goes back to his jewelry shop and gets emotional with his coworker and girlfriend Julia, and they reconcile from their fight earlier in the movie.
A still beat up Howard learns that even though Kevin Garnett lost the auction for the black opal stone, he still wants to purchase it. Garnett goes to Howard’s jewelry shop and pays Howard cash for the black opal. All the while, Howards still angry brother-in -law (whom Howard owes a lot of money to) shows up right as Garnett is leaving after buying the opal. Howard tells his girlfriend Julia to go to the casino and bet all the cash he just received from Garnett counting on Garnett to have a strong performance in the basketball game that night.
Furious that Howard did not give them the money he got from Garnett, Phil and Nico get mad at Howard. They chase after Julia to try and get her to cancel the bet. However, Howard locks them in between the security doors until the game is over. Howard watches the game on the TV inside the shop, all the while Phil and Nico are trapped inside.
Garnett ends up putting up a strong performance allowing Howard to win the bet he placed. Howard wins a staggering 1.2 million dollars. Excited with the result of the bet, Howard lets Phil and Nico out from the security doors. Phil, who is still angry that he didn’t get his money, shoots Howard in the head and Howard drops dead. The movie ends there with Howard dying after he won 1.2 million dollars.
Thus concluding the Uncut Gems review! I think the ending of the movie was the most upsetting part for me. Howard could have relieved all of his debts with all that money. Everything would have turned out fine if he did that. However, it did not turn out like the way most of the audience hoped. Howard was a very interesting character for the movie because even though throughout the entire movie he was constantly screwing off people with his gambling addictions. The movie made you feel sympathy for him. I think that’s why I was sad at the ending. Overall I think this was a very good movie. It kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time. I would give it a 4 out of 5 stars. Thanks for reading my Uncut Gems review!
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