Full disclosure: I am a frustrated Adam Sandler fan. Before you gasp in horror and dismiss everything I’ve ever written, hear me out. The operative word here is ‘frustrated.’ What is the cause of my discontentment? Well, about 95% of his film output, to be precise. I have exactly zero interest in Grown Ups, or its sequel. You could not pay me to invest time in Don’t Mess With The Zohan, and I have no intention of watching Blended, ever.
Punch-Drunk Love, however, is one of my favourite movies – largely due to Sandler’s performance – and I have a deep appreciation for Funny People. I even have a soft spot for Spanglish, since we’re sharing details. What do these films have in common? They require Sandler to act with real emotional depth – and that is something I have been waiting for him to do again since 2009. I am hoping my wait is over, with the upcoming release of The Cobbler.
The Cobbler is the fourth feature film to be directed by Thomas McCarthy – a cinematic multi-tasker with a face you would recognise from appearances in films such as 2012, Little Fockers and Fair Game. Here, he also writes the screenplay, along with Paul Sado (The Undeserved) – which is significant to my anticipation of this project, because of his back catalogue as a writer.
Thomas McCarthy doesn’t write material like Jack And Jill, or even 50 First Dates. Rather, McCarthy’s previous penmanship can be found in The Station Agent, The Visitor, Up, Win Win and the currently buzz-tastic Million Dollar Arm.
The official synopsis of The Cobbler is as follows:
“Max Simkin repairs shoes in the same New York shop that has been in his family for generations. Disenchanted with the grind of daily life, Max stumbles upon a magical heirloom that allows him to step into the lives of his customers and see the world in a new way. Sometimes walking in another man’s shoes is the only way to discover who they really are. Starring Adam Sandler, Cliff ‘Method Man’ Smith, Ellen Barkin, Melonie Diaz, Dan Stevens, Fritz Weaver, Yul Vazquez, Steve Buscemi and Dustin Hoffman.”
I am not yet completely convinced that this is the film I have spent the past five years waiting for, but I have hope – and that is immediately more than I have had to sustain me through Sandler’s last eight movies. All will be revealed at the Toronto International Film Festival, from September 4th – 14th, 2014, where The Cobbler will receive its world premiere in the Special Presentations program.
While we patiently await the verdict from that event, feast your eyes on these new images from the film (above and below) – and see if you can spot Sandler successfully flexing those dramatic muscles.