Years before “Uncut Gems” you could see that Adam Sandler was a good actor. He had previously stepped out of the ha-ha zone in “Punch-Drunk Love” (2002) – and returned to “The Wedding Singer” (1998), which he succeeded in after only two of his knockabouts. big hit farces (“Billy Madison” and “Happy Gilmore”) have already shown a desire to add a touch of real nuances to their comic book characters. And we can’t be snobbish about it: it’s not that Sandler doesn’t actually act disgustingly in “The Waterboy” (the biggest of his stupid / clever “classics”). As such, his performance of “Uncut Gems” as an extra-self-destructive gambler-chisel gambler working in New York’s Diamond District feels cut off from another gem – it belongs to the film in Scorsese. This is the best performance for me in 2019, and since then it’s no longer fair to say that Adam Sandler is a good actor. He became a good actor.
Hustle focuses primarily on the nuts and bolts of ordinary storytelling, but the ability of Zagar and cinematographer Zak Mulligan to recapture here provides his own kind of visual poetry, and the director’s warm observation of family dynamics gives the heart what is essentially drama. Two men who are trying to overcome bad luck and secure their bows of redemption.
Sandler’s fanatical devotion to basketball – here producer, starring LeBron James – breathes life into a film full of portraits of famous NBA stars, coaches and heroes. streetball. It’s a letter to the love of sports, but also of Philadelphia, its music and the feverish culture of sports fans, as evidenced by atmospheric photographs on murals around the city depicting basketball legends. But even if you’re a basketball fan, the solid screenplay by Taylor Materne (NBA video game writer) and Will Fetters (Bradley Cooper’s A Star is Born remake) draws you into the story of unlucky people. Tired of traveling tirelessly and away from his wife Teresa (Queen Latifah) and their teenage daughter Alex (Jordan Hull), Stanley finally fulfills his dream when his longtime boss, Philadelphia 76ers owner Rex Merrick (Robert Duvall), moves him off the scout. to the assistant coach.
“Hustle” relied on Sandler to replace the actual text with the meta text he brought to the project. A stellar player can lead a team, but it helps when he can stretch from a deep bench around a parade of NBA players such as Queen Latifah as his high wife. The same embarrassment weakens Horatio Alger’s story of overcoming failures, as he especially refuses to respond to the dynamics of colonialism and classicism, which rules out a streetball perspective like Bo around the league by entering the side door. (Involving NBA Unofficial Ambassador LeBron James as a producer in the film sheds an exciting light on some topics for self-promotion.)
There is so much craft and heart in “Hustle” that it doesn’t look like a competitive PSA or an algorithm created by Netflix. These elements go far, but a solid implementation can only get a well-dressed playbook.