Was Adam Sandler Snubbed Out Of An Academy Award Nomination For Uncut Gems?

Was Adam Sandler Snubbed Out Of An Academy Award Nomination For Uncut Gems?

Uncut Gems

For over three decades, Adam Sandler has cemented his name in film and media from making television appearances in The Cosby Show and Saturday Night Live to making hits like The Wedding Singer, Punch-Drunk-Love, and The Waterboy. While Sandler has proven his acting chops in films such as Funny People and The Meyerowitz Stories, the veteran actor’s filmography is plagued with critic misfires. Despite most of his films being hated by critics, Sandler’s movies usually do well in the box office as the actor’s films are generally well-liked by the fans. That brings us to Uncut Gems, a little independent feature directed by Ben and Joshua Safdie, which features Sandler in the lead as Howard Ratner, a jeweler who makes high-stakes bets with other clients’ items. The shady dealer must juggle business, family, and adversaries as he makes a gamble that could risk everything he’s worked hard for.

Instantly, the film was a hit with critics with many praising Sandler’s tremendous performance throughout the film. Currently, Uncut Gems has an amazing rotten tomatoes score of 91% and many considered Sandler a shoo-in for the best male lead Academy Award nomination. However, Sandler ended up getting zero nominations for his work on Uncut Gems. Reportedly, an Academy voting member revealed the reason Sandler was snubbed, noting that his brand was damaged by a string of bad films. Also, the anonymous Academy member stated that Sandler rubbed people the wrong way because of what Adam said on the Howard Stern show: “If I don’t get [the Oscar], I’m going to f***ing come back and do [a movie] again that is so bad on purpose just to make you all pay.”

Whether this Academy voting member is telling the truth or not, there’s no denying the politics game in the world known as Hollywood. However, ignoring the political side of the award nomination, did Adam Sandler truly deserve to be nominated for an Oscar? Was the veteran on par with Joaquin Phoenix [Joker], Antonio Banderas [Pain and Glory], Leonardo DiCaprio [Once Upon A Time…Hollywood], Adam Driver [Marriage Story], and Jonathan Pryce [The Two Popes]? Let’s dive deeper into the reason Adam Sandler should’ve been on that list of names because of his turn in Uncut Gems. When given the right script, Adam Sandler can act. He did it in The Wedding Singer. He did in Punch-Drunk-Love. And he definitely did it in Uncut Gems. What makes Sandler’s performance in the film so captivating is the way he plays conman Howard Ratner.

It’s not just the dialogue that makes Sandler so great, it’s his body language and movement that makes the jeweler feel alive. From Howard’s reaction to scoring big following Kevin Garnett’s huge game to him breaking down and crying inside of his office, Sandler’s movements feel natural throughout the film. Of course, it helps that Uncut Gems is a strong movie with two talented directors behind the camera. The world around Howard feels so alive thanks to how detailed and colorful the script is, and the various moving parts that impact Howard’s life keeps the story fast-paced and engaging. Let’s get this straight, Howard is a scumbag; however, the jeweler is a man that can feel love, pain, and joy.

Howard feels human because the Safdie brothers do an excellent job of layering the character, but Sandler helps audiences connect with the protagonist because of his perfect portrayal. The ending is a mixed bag. Howard wins big but his poor judgment ultimately got him killed. The Safdie brothers not giving the conman a happy ending does paint the picture of the lifestyle that Howard was leading. He took the ultimate risk and paid the consequence with his life. I can understand if people hated the sad ending. On the other hand, the uneasy ending fits the other themes of the film thus the darker approach was warranted.

This isn’t a knock on any of the 2019 Academy Award nominees. If the report is true about the reasoning behind Sandler’s snub then it’s complete B.S. that the Academy voters opted to choose with their feelings instead of what’s right. However, there’s no denying that the actual nominations did stellar work in their respective films. Overall, yes, Sandler was snubbed from getting his first Oscar nomination in 2019. It’s not the end of the world because the veteran actor is making bank regardless. Also, Sandler shouldn’t have trouble delivering another stellar performance if he gets another meaty role like Howard Ratner. Uncut Gems wasn’t his first great performance and I doubt it will be his last.Sandler’s snub

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