The best movie of Adam Sandler’s career

This year’s New York Film Festival kicked off with a clear-cut Oscar favorite, Martin Scorsese’s “The Irishman,” and it continued Thursday night with another, more shocking contender: Adam Sandler.

You’re not dreaming. Billy Madison, Mr. Deeds, Happy Gilmore, Robbie Hart and the guy that sang “The Hanukkah Song” is doing the finest work of his career in “Uncut Gems,” a new crime comedy co-written and directed by Joshua and Benny Safdie. Pigs have flown, for Sandler is brilliant.

This is not a “Who’s that guy?” dramatic shift that funnymen often make in serious films, like Robin Williams as a bald creep in “One Hour Photo.” It’s simply that Sandler has finally found material suited to his talents that’s actually good — as a sleazebag New York diamond dealer whose life is one big bad decision.

His name is Howard, and he’s as ethical as a Chicago mayor. Loud, sweaty and obnoxious, Howard sells diamonds at high prices at his Midtown Manhattan shop, often to celebs such as Kevin Garnett. One day in 2012, he receives a shipment from Africa: a rare, rainbow-hued opal he believes is worth millions.

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