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The One Uncut Gems Scene That Makes Us Love Adam Sandler Even More

Contains spoilers for Uncut Gems

Adam Sandler isn't exactly known for his dramatic range, but at this point he probably should be. Even before Uncut Gems was generating unfulfilled Oscar buzz, Sandler had demonstrated his theatrical bona fides on more than one occasion. Punch-Drunk Love is universally loved, and 2009's Funny People is nothing to sneeze at, either. One of Hollywood's dirtiest secrets is that the Sandman has always been a talented actor, and his latest performance as Jewish jeweler Howard Ratner only threatens to expose that fact for all the doubters to see.

Uncut Gems follows Ratner through one seriously stressful week in his life as a degenerate gambler and purveyor of precious gems in Manhattan's iconic Diamond District. At the outset of the film, Ratner acquires a rare black opal that he auctioned from Ethiopian Jews who stole the stone from the mine where they work. He plans to auction the stone at a substantial profit, and use the proceeds to get out of debt so he can build a new life with his mistress, Julia de Fiore (Julia Fox). The best laid plans of mice and men go awry when Celtics star Kevin Garnett (played by the actual Kevin Garnett) shows up in Ratner's store and forms a bond with the black opal. The surprisingly superstitious Garnett refuses to leave the store without the stone, setting off a chain of events that ultimately leads Ratner to complete personal and professional ruin.

The pace of Uncut Gems is unrelenting, and the whole film is populated by gut-wrenching moments of dramatic tension, most of them propelled by Sandler's captivating performance. Even with so many memorable scenes to choose from, there's one that stands out above the rest as the Happy Gilmore actor's crowning achievement.

Uncut Gems drags Adam Sandler through a series of unfortunate events

As brilliant a film as Uncut Gems is, it's not exactly an easy watch. Writer-director team Josh and Bennie Safdie really know how to keep an audience on the edge of their seats. Howard Ratner's life in the Diamond District seems seriously stressful, and this condition is only exacerbated by the mountain of gambling debt that's made him a target for organized crime. The film's breakneck velocity is personified in its central character, who spends practically the entire two hour-plus runtime of the film in frenetic motion. As the movie barrels toward its violent climax, Ratner starts to feel the weight of his poor decisions.

He finally recovers the black opal from Garnett, only to discover that the auction house has appraised his treasure far short of the million-dollar payday he was expecting. When he arrives at the auction house, he discovers that the appraiser ordered a correction adjusting the price of his stone down to about $100,000. Though hardly a MENSA candidate, Ratner is possessed of a certain low cunning, which he deploys to bully his uncle into bidding up the price of the gem. Obviously, this half-cocked plan implodes spectacularly, forcing Ratner to buy back his own opal from the uncle he hung out to dry. That alone would be enough to break a man, but for Ratner it comes at an especially tender time; all this drama happens in the wake of his discovery that Julia is cheating on him with R&B icon The Weeknd.

This catastrophic confluence of events leads to the film's one and only quiet moment, an all-time low point for Ratner that affords Sandler the opportunity to show off his acting chops.

Adam Sandler finally sits down in Uncut Gems

Broke, beaten and alone, Howard Ratner returns to his one remaining safe space: his office in the back of his Manhattan jewelry store. After spending scene after scene rushing around the city to put out fires of his own making, Ratner finally takes a seat. He practically collapses into his office chair, and breaks down in tears. With the stone, far more trouble than it was ultimately worth, sitting on his desk, Howard Ratner reaches the end of his rope.

He's interrupted by Julia (who also works for him). Even though the two are still at odds over her brief infidelity, she comforts him and shows him that she's gone and tattooed his name on her backside. This only sends Ratner deeper into his pit of self-loathing. He essentially tells her that he isn't worthy of her love or her respect. Over the course of this brief scene, we watch Ratner hit rock bottom and allow himself to be pulled back up by one woman's support. Sandler sells this stunning resurrection with a performance worthy of the Independent Spirit Award he won, a turnaround that propels the movie into its devastating final act.

It's as powerful a moment of pathos as we've ever seen from Sandler, and it's the one scene from Uncut Gems that makes us love him even more than we already did.

Uncut Gems is currently streaming on Netflix alongside another underrated Sandler flick that's currently burning up the charts.