Adam Sandler's performance as a doomed hustler in the Safdie Brothers' gritty Uncut Gems inspired Oscar buzz from the moment it premiered. Problem was, no one told the Academy, and Sandler got no love when nominations were announced.
He did, however, win the Independent Spirit best male lead award on Saturday, February 8th. This gave the SNL icon a chance to do what he does best: tell jokes about the whole thing.
"A few weeks back when I was, quote-unquote, snubbed by the Academy it reminded me when I briefly attended high school and was overlooked for the coveted yearbook superlative category best looking,” Sandler said in his speech. “That accolade was given to a jean jacket wearing feather-haired douchebag by the name of Skipper Jenkins." (...)
"But my classmates did honor me with the allegedly less prestigious designation of best personality,” Sandler said.
“Tonight as I look around this room I realize that the Independent Spirit Awards are the ‘best personality’ awards of Hollywood. So when all those feather-haired douchebag motherf*ckers go to get their Oscars tomorrow night, their handsome good looks will fade in time but our independent personalities will shine on forever."
It's hard to tell if Sandler was actually mad about the whole thing or just decided he'd have fun with it. Either way, his jokes landed.
Uncut Gems was nominated for Independent Spirit Awards in several categories and also took home statues for best editing and best director.
The movie was actually completely shut out of the Academy Awards, which at the time prompted Sandler to say he'd "come back and do one again that is so bad on purpose, just to make you all pay."
Truth is, Sandler got the ultimate nod when acting legend Daniel Day-Lewis made a point to call him and tell him what an incredible job he'd done. So he's doing fine without the Academy.
If you want to see who gets the golden statue Sandler may well deserve, the Oscars air Sunday at 8 p.m. on ABC.