There are a lot of characters in “Uncut Gems,” which is one of the most anxious films I have ever seen, so here is a ranking of the top seven:
1. Julia Fox, “Julia”Julia plays Adam Sandler’s girlfriend, a clerk at his jewelry store and The Weeknd’s cocaine dealer, and she is by far the best part of the movie. Pretty much everyone else either gets annoying or does some betraying, but Julia is very cool the whole time, down to the part where she takes a helicopter ride to the Mohegan Sun with a bag of cash to place a bet on the Celtics to win a basketball game.
2. The Weeknd, “The Weeknd”The Weeknd, the musician whose legal name is Abel Tesfaye, plays himself as he was in 2009, when the movie was set. The problem with this is that his debut EP, “House of Balloons,” which was flawless, came out in March 2011. His followup EP, “Thursday,” was released in August of that year, and “Echoes of Silence” came out that December. They were all wonderful, but of course they were overshadowed by “nostalgia/ultra” by Frank Ocean, which came out in February 2011 and put every other musical release in the history of the world to shame.
Anyways, not only was The Weeknd cool enough to rewrite his history for the sake of Adam Sandler’s dramatic tendencies, but he did a little bit of performing and let Adam Sandler punch him, which is good enough for second on the list. Frank Ocean, if he were to be in this movie, would be number one.
3. The God Mike Francesa, “Gary”Mike Francesa, if you are not familiar, is some sort of New York radio person. The only thing he loves more that Diet Coke is spewing terrible hot takes about the Knicks and yelling at callers, and it is a blessing that he is in this film.
4. Ara Daglian, “Gambler in Sports Book”This character seems like a generally nice gambler-type person, who meets Julia at the Mohegan Sun and keeps her company for a bit.
He is in the movie because one of the directors, Josh Safdie, met him at a craps table one night, went on a hot streak and decided to cast him in the movie. Safdie texted him at 3:20 a.m., “Yo” and “Movie,” to which Daglian responded with the check mark emoji, which is a very cool way to respond to an offer to be in a major motion picture.
5. Adam Sandler, “Howard Ratner”Adam Sandler plays the main character or whatever, a jeweler who loves to gamble and lie and who is some very serious debts to some very angry men. He has several Furby chains, a sketchy seeming office and is constantly pissing everyone off. He loves his fish. He would be much higher on the list, except for sometimes he slips into his Billy Madison voice and it is off-putting.
6. Kevin Garnett, “Kevin Garnett”Kevin Garnett plays himself, who is a very tall, very successful basketball player who is on the Celtics in 2009. He also decides that he very much likes an uncut black opal that Howard gets his hands on, which is essentially the crux of the film.
This is a very good cameo because apparently Kevin Garnett is a decent actor, which is a nice surprise, and because as part of the film’s press tour, I’m assuming, Garnett decided it would be a good idea to start talking trash about LeBron James, about how the Celtics broke him and sent him running off to Miami or whatever.
Which, of course, led everyone to remember how LeBron came back and tore the Celtics team apart in 2010, how LeBron is the greatest athlete of all time and we should all be grateful to have seen him play, and how LeBron was a much better actor in “Trainwreck” than Kevin Garnett is in “Uncut Gems.”
The point is, “Uncut Gems” would’ve been better with LeBron, but I suppose Garnett did an OK job.
7. Maksud Agadjani, “Yussi”To be honest I do not remember this guy from the movie, but I found his Instagram (traxnyc) and it rules.
Rating: 7.5 out of 10 or so, it was pretty good I think but, honestly, everyone was just shouting the whole time and it was so, so stressful.