Adam Sandler as Howard Ratner, gambling-addicted jeweler
New York City, Spring 2012
Film: Uncut Gems
Release Date: December 13, 2019
Director: Josh Safdie & Benny Safdie
Costume Design: Miyako Bellizzi & Nawaal Hendricks
Costume Consultant: Mordechai Rubinstein
WARNING! Spoilers ahead!
Happy 57th birthday to Adam Sandler, born September 9, 1966. The Sandman turned in an arguably career best performance in Uncut Gems, the Safdie brothers’ excellent and stress-inducing callback to gritty ’70s crime cinema, set during the 2012 NBA finals. The uncut gem at the center of the story is a rare black opal that we follow from the mines of Ethiopia to New York City’s Diamond District—specifically KMH, a store run by the frenetic Howard Ratner.
Adam Sandler as Barry Egan, anxious novelty swag entrepreneur
San Fernando Valley (and Hawaii), Spring 2002
Film: Punch-Drunk Love
Release Date: October 11, 2002
Director: Paul Thomas Anderson
Costume Designer: Mark Bridges
Though it would be widely released in theaters five months later, today marks the 20th anniversary of when Paul Thomas Anderson’s offbeat romantic comedy Punch-Drunk Love premiered at Cannes in May 19, 2002.
A fan of his work in lower-brow ’90s comedies like Billy Madison, Happy Gilmore, and The Waterboy, Anderson had been interested in collaborating with Adam Sandler, sensing the greater dramatic potential under his distinctive comedic signature. The unconventional casting choice baffled entertainment journalists and even Sandler himself, though he delivered a career-high performance as Punch-Drunk Love‘s central character, Barry Egan. Continue reading