Adam Sandler, schmuck élégant dans Uncut Gems

Adam Sandler, elegant schmuck in Uncut Gems

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Among the thousand and one words that make up New York vernacular slang, there is one that, when pronounced, makes the tongue click and the mouth round like a big bubble of chewing gum. “Schmuck.” A name inherited from the Yiddish language of old Jewish immigrants from the Lower East Side, which is used to point the finger at those who have done too much.

A schmuck is an idiot. Howard Ratner is a schmuck. The main character of the Safdie brothers' brand new film, the highly acclaimed Uncut Gems, is an example of the genre, yes. Played with succulent brilliance by actor Adam Sandler, Howard Ratner is a diamond merchant with a cartoonish gibberish, dripping with misplaced pride, who haunts the streets of Manhattan while carrying a farandole of pots and pans behind him.

Everything is so grotesque, so garish that it ends up infusing a certain coolness on the screen

Above all, here's a guy with great looks, somewhere between a junk mafioso and a professional bowling player. Howard Ratner likes clothes that are very expensive and that sparkle under all the neon lights and all the skies. Flashy at all costs. The top: Howard Ratner likes striped polo shirts whose sleeves hug the outline of his biceps, silk shirts whose pink is reminiscent of salmon and double-breasted suits like grandpa. The bottom: generally held by a belt with a large golden buckle at the height of the navel, his pants have visible pleats as if they had just come out of the dry cleaners, and end up in a pile of bad creases on Italian moccasins which bend funny and are also decorated with an eye-catching buckle.

When the tension rises a notch or two, Howard Ratner also likes to wear a Sunday sports tracksuit made of synthetic material and slips into sneakers with thick soles. He's tough like that. And all this is invariably accompanied by the same series of accessories that end up making the guy the schmuckest of all schmucks: a bracelet that weighs a ton, a thousand-carat Geneva brand watch with an astonishing red dial. as well as a pair of glasses with smoked lenses. Obviously. “These clothes show the business side of Howard Ratner, but also a dark side, a raw side,” explains director Benny Safdie in the American version of GQ magazine (…) That says: “If you come to pick me up, you’ll go see it in all colors." “If you think of a guy not really up to date in terms of fashion who likes to wear this to go to the club, it’s him,” adds costume designer Miyako Bellizi in the columns of the site The Cut.

Schmuck but stylish.

To shape this look which is more or less that of all the birds of ill omen of the Diamond District, the production walked the length and breadth of the sticky and lightless streets of this part of New York nestled under the famous echo of Times Square . For hours they observed these faces zoning out on the landings of the jewelry stores waiting for a good deal with a dried cigarette in their mouth and lukewarm coffee in their hand. “On 47th Street, they stayed twenty years ago, they are stuck in time,” says Josh Safdie.

While most of the pieces in Howard Ratner's wardrobe come from recognized brands, some of them have been the subject of careful research. The production costume designers found an old blazer on Ebay and a suit jacket on the aptly named website Price of the thing: $19.99. For his part, actor Adam Sandler happily dressed like a schmuck, they say. The only thing he didn't want to concede were the jeans that were too tight. It's impossible for him to feel his thighs too tight in front of the camera.

Also, to be honest, by being dressed haphazardly scene after scene, Howard Ratner's character becomes elegant. Everything is so grotesque, so garish that it ends up infusing a certain coolness on the screen. There is something there, a sense of chic or almost. Schmuck but stylish.

No wonder then that at the time of fancy dress parties, today we don't hesitate to dress like him. It's also no surprise that major fashion sections recommend some of his pieces.

At Hast, we won't go that far. A little serious, all the same.