Uncut Gems

Released in 2019, but set in 2012, Uncut Gems is a crime thriller directed by the Safdie brothers, Benny and Josh, who also co-wrote the screenplay with Ronald Bronstein. Adam Sandler stars as the tragic hero, Howard Ratner, a fast-talking Jewish-American jeweller and compulsive gambler. Ratner is the proprietor of KMH, a jewellery store in the Diamond District of Midtown Manhattan, which sells rare, expensive precious stones.

Nevertheless, Ratner is indebted to his brother-in-law Arno Moradian (Eric Bogosian) to the tune of $100,000, but seeks to repay that debt, and others, by smuggling a rare, uncut black opal into the country from Ethiopia. Ratner expects the opal to fetch $1,000,000 at auction but, on its arrival, it takes the eye of Boston Celtics’ basketball star Kevin Garnett (himself). Garnett considers the opal a lucky talisman and, offering his NBA Championship Ring as collateral, insists on keeping it for his upcoming basketball match.

Ratner immediately pawns the ring and places a bet on the aforementioned match, which would have won $600,000, but for being stopped by Moradian, who takes exception to Ratner gambling with what is, effectively, his money. After further tribulations, Ratner retrieves the opal and takes it to auction, only for his father-in-law, Gooey (Judd Kirsch), who he persuades to bid up the price, to place the winning bid.

Ratner finally offloads the opal to Garnett for $165,000 in cash but, instead of paying his debts, asks his girlfriend, Julia De Fiore (Julia Fox), to place a further bet on a Celtics’ basketball match. She narrowly escapes the clutches of Moradian and his henchmen, Phil (Keith William Richards) and Nico (Tommy Kominik), whom Ratner imprisons between the security doors at KMH. The bet wins, earning Ratner $1.2 million but, when he releases his prisoners, Phil shoots him in the head, killing him instantly.

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