Last year, Netflix yet again blew our minds with an epic film called ‘Uncut Gems’. This crime thriller features Adam Sandler, Kevin Garnett, Idina Menzel, Lakeith Stanfield, Julia Fox and Eric Bogosian. Yup, that cast itself screams “EXCELLENCE”. Certainly, the movie received great appreciation critically as well as from the audience. Moreover, the story of Uncut Gems is so realistic, that there were debates if the film was based on a true story or not. Hence, today we will talk about what is the truth behind one of the best Netflix films. But first, for those who don’t know about the movie, let’s talk about what it is about.
What is ‘Uncut Gems’ about?
If we go by Netflix, it describes Uncut Gems as “With his debts mounting and angry collectors closing in, a fast-talking New York City jeweler risks everything in hopes of staying afloat and alive”.
Let us now describe in simpler words. Uncut Gems was released in 2019, directed by Josh and Benny Saffir. The story revolves around Howard Ratner, played by Adam Sandler. He is a jeweler and a gambling addict in New York City. He needs to retrieve an expensive gem which he purchased to pay off his debts.
Uncut Gems was such a hit, that it was chosen by the National Board of Review as one of the top ten films of 2019. Moreover, Adam Sandler won the Independent Spirit Award for Best Male Lead. In addition, it became A24’s highest-grossing film, with around $50 million. With all that success, you can tell how great the movie must be. Now let’s talk about the facts behind it in the next segment.
Is Uncut Gems based on a real story?
The story of Uncut Gems is said to be based on Safdie’s brothers’ father’s story. However, the clear answer to the confusion is No, Uncut Gems is not based on a real story. Certainly, it is said that the Uncut Gems is inspired by the directors Josh Safdie and Benny Safdie’s father’s real life. According to the reports, the senior Safdie worked as a runner in the diamond district. He acted as a middleman between wholesalers and jewellers trying to cut precious deals. During this time, their father worked for a man named Howard.
In reality, the Safdie brothers cleared that Howard Ratner’s story is fictional. However, it is also said that the Safdie brothers did a ‘marvelous’ job of blurring lines between the reality and fiction in their work. Another element that instigated the idea of a real story was the Basketball ball players. Apparently, the featured Basketball player Kevin Garnett is also real. It was later revealed in the making video of Uncut Gems that the Safdie brothers wanted to cast a real NBA player. Infact, Benny Safdie said, “We looked at basketball players from 2012 on, and saw, ‘OK, what were their games like? Did they have any gem games?’
Clearly, they wanted to make the movie a make-believe. However, the duo denies any hint of reality in the movie. But the question and speculations still remain the same.