I was looking forward to this one. I was excited to see Adam Sandler take on something a lot more serious than his usual goofy characters. I can’t say I didn’t enjoy it.. because I want to believe I did, but in all honesty my anxiety was at a 10 the whole time and I left the theater feeling frazzled and in desperate need of a Xanax. I think it’s interesting for an audience to finally get a movie that’s not super cookie cutter and exploring a walk of life that is normally overlooked.
This movie is Adam Sandler’s. Plain and simple. Sandler is outstanding in the role of Diamond District jeweler with an addiction to gambling named Howard Ratner. I think he’s had several more serious roles in the past but none were quite as memorable as that of his is this film. While Sandler is the obvious standout here it’s easy to overlook the others’ performances. I think one of the best performances of the whole cast, Sandler aside, was that of Lakeith Stanfield. Stanfield has been busy the past couple of years with roles in movies such as Sorry to Bother You, Knives Out, and Get Out. The guy is talented and his role in this film is different from a lot of his other roles and he seriously nailed it to say the least. Idina Menzel is also in this film and I think she does a good job with what she was given. It was definitely a film that challenged people to play different kinds of roles than they normally do and I think that’s great and it definitely paid off in the long run. The cast was excellent and one of the brighter spots of the film.
The movie as a whole for me was like a fever dream. It’s definitely not my cup of tea, to say the absolute least. Before seeing the film I looked up a few reviews and I went in with high expectations and I came out with a bit of a headache. The movie is LOUD. With the constant yelling and the added chaotic environment that is New York City it made for a noisy film. While the film was loud it was also really well-paced and I never left the edge of my seat. Everything that could happen did happen. At times I found myself rolling my eyes because it felt a bit predictable in some instances and I think it was also way too long but to each his own.
The best part of this film is hands down the score and the cinematography. I have never heard of the composer they used on this film but I loved every second of the synth-heavy score. It reminded me a lot of the scores from the 80’s. The film also sports some of my favorite cinematography of 2019. The cinematographer goes hand in hand with the film’s editing and adds to the chaos of the movie.
If you’re a fan of the Safdie Brothers then go see this movie and if you’re a fan of the crime drama genre then definitely go see it. With awards season around the corner everyone is vying for Adam Sandler to be nominated for an Oscar but I would not be so quick to assume that. I understand that he was able to really bust out of his comedic roles but I don’t think it’s Oscar-worthy. Maybe for best cinematography.. but I’ve seen much better performances from actors this year that deserve a nomination.