Adam Sandler and acting God Daniel Day-Lewis go way back. “Danny boy,” as Sandler calls him. They’ve been friendly for many years now, and with Day-Lewis being a good friend and all, he called Sandler to congratulate him on his Earth-shattering performance in Uncut Gems. Sandler is pure intensity, desperation, and joy in the anxiety-inducing thriller, which is directed by Benny and Josh Safdi. The movie has its passionate fans, including Daniel Day-Lewis.
The Phone Call
Imagine receiving a call from Day-Lewis to say, “Good job.” Who wouldn’t want that, especially for a performance deserving of such praise? More than likely, Sandler is getting a lot of those calls for his performance as Howard Ratner, a jewelry dealer who can’t catch a break. Ratner’s world is crashing as he’s losing bets, his wife, and his family. He’s taking punches and losing at almost every turn in Uncut Gem, a movie that never lets up.
Critics and audiences are over-the-moon about Sandler in the movie, and so is Daniel Day-Lewis. While on the Bill Simmons podcast, Sandler talked about shopping for sneakers while receiving an unforgettable call from the Lincoln star:
“I’m getting my sneakers and then I look down at my phone and it’s Daniel Day-Lewis…He starts talking about grabbing the seat in front of him. ‘I couldn’t let go of the seat in front of me,’ and just saying how much he dug the movie, he dug [Kevin Garnett], he dug the guys. But it was the best call ever.”
The Threat Heard ‘Round the World
In 2002, Sandler was majorly snubbed by the Academy Awards for Paul Thomas Anderson’s Punch Drunk Love. It’s one of the best performances of the 21st Century, and yet, no Oscar love. Sandler poured his heart and soul into The Meyerowitz Stories, too, but still didn’t get the spotlight he deserved.
At the end of the day, the awards are hardly meaningful compared to the movies themselves, but hey, a trophy is nice, too.
While on the Howard Stern Show promoting Uncut Gems, he joked if he didn’t get nominated for an Oscar he’d get his revenge by making his worst movie yet:
“If I don’t get it, I’m going to f—ing come back and do one again that is so bad on purpose just to make you all pay. That’s how I get them.”
Maybe because Sandler is promoting the movie more than he usually does and is making the rounds with critics groups and awards voters, he’ll get more attention. Most actors campaign for themselves to get more attention from voters, and for better or worse, it usually works. Not exactly Sandler’s style, but he’s happy to promote Uncut Gems:
I did like an asshole. The Safdie Brothers and everybody worked so hard on the movie that I didn’t want to do what I usually do and just go, ‘Eh, I can’t help you out there.
See Uncut Gems
Uncut Gems is completely new and familiar for Sandler. He’s hustling and yelling an awful lot in the movie, which calls to mind his characters from the ‘90s, but he brings so much humanity to Howard Ratner. He’s deeply flawed, creates most of his own problems, and yet Sandler makes audiences root for Ratner.
After getting almost everything wrong in Uncut Gems, you desperately want to see him get one thing right in the end. Ratner wants what the audience wants in life — to win. Sandler brings his high-wired, old-school comedy energy to the role, making the degenerate gambler a highly entertaining protagonist in the heart-pounding drama.
What’s Next for Sandler
For now, Sandler will continue to promote Uncut Gems for A24. Once the actor finishes press and the awards campaigning, we’ll see three more comedies from the actor, including Hotel Transylvania 4, Hubie Halloween, and a sequel to Netflix’s Murder Mystery, one of his more enjoyable comedies of recent years.