Adam Sandler is getting arguably the best reviews of his career for his frenetic, intense performance as a desperate New York City jeweler and gambling addict in Josh and Benny Safdie's anxiety-inducing new thriller Uncut Gems. But there’s a good reason why Sandler is not reading them.
The 53-year-old actor has been among film critics' favorite punching bags over the past two decades, with reviewers sharpening their knives to carve up comedies like Little Nicky (2000), You Don't Mess With the Zohan (2008), Jack and Jill (2011) and the Grown-Ups movies, not to mention the projects spawned from his lucrative deal with Netflix, including this year's Murder Mystery.
"It's been going on so long that it doesn't really bother me anymore," Sandler told Yahoo Entertainment during an interview at the Toronto International Film Festival, where he was joined by co-stars LaKeith Stanfield, Idina Menzel and Jennifer Fox (watch above). "When I was young, and I read my first couple reviews and how hard they came at me and hated my stuff, that was shell-shocking. Because I was young and excited and then I got hit with how terrible my stuff was.
"But I guess I just believed differently. So I just keep doing my thing. But it's nice. I'm happy for the movie, I'm happy for the movie that it's getting reviewed [well]. I don't sit and read them. But when I see the Safdie boys excited, that makes me excited."
Sandler's comedies continually get dragged, yet at the same time, seemingly every time he tries his hand at dramatic roles — see Punch-Drunk Love (2002), Spanglish (2004), Reign Over Me (2007) and The Meyerowitz Stories (2017), the reviews are glowing. With his gem of a performance in Uncut Gems, Sandler is right in the thick of the Oscar race and could land his first-ever Academy Award nomination.
You almost wonder why he doesn't do more serious fare.
"If somebody wants me for something and it's good, I get very excited," he said. "I don't know how to go about getting the stuff, but I've lucked out."
Uncut Gems opens Friday. Watch the trailer:
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