The decision to use Adam Sandler in a dramatic role or movie is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, Sandler’s non-comedic performances are fascinating things, and the movies that deploy him that way are often fascinating as well. On the other hand, there is something about Sandler’s history and reputation, and probably something about his famous name and smug sophomoric face, that plainly inspires an allergic reaction among Oscar voters.
His first dramatic role was the lead in Paul Thomas Anderson’s Punch-Drunk Love, which is the only Anderson film since his minor debut, Hard Eight, to earn exactly zero Academy …
This article appears as “Diamond in the Rough” in the February 24, 2020, print edition of National Review.
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