FANDOM


You havin' a good time?
~ Phil most famous quote.

Phil is the secondary antagonist of 2019 American crime thriller film Uncut Gems. He is the personal bodyguard and enforcer of loan shark, Arno, alongside Nico.

He was portrayed by Keith Williams Richards.

Biography

Howard Ratner is the owner of a jewelry shop in the Diamond District of New York. He is addicted to gambling and struggles to pay his debts, mostly to Arno, his brother-in-law as well as a loan shark. One day, Howard is receiving a very valuable black opal from Ethiopia, but before that, Phil and Nico (Arno's bodyguards) pay a visit to Howard. Howard offers them water; Phil rejects it but Howard gives it to them anyway, only to be slapped by Phil in the face in front of his employees and customers, making it clear that Phil is very quick-tempered. Howard talks to them in private and they take Howard's money that he just picked up from a pawn shop and his watch. Howard calls Arno, angry at this.

Basketball player Kevin Garnett visits the shop and becomes obsessed with the black opal. However, he can't pay the million dollars Howard asks for but convinces him to lend him the gem for that night's game, as he feels it'll bring him good luck. Howard reluctantly agrees, taking Kevin's championship ring as collateral. Howard immediately pawns the ring, planning on betting the money on Garnett's game, unaware that Phil and Nico are following him and informing Arno of his actions. Howard sends a picture of the money to Arno claiming the money is his, before betting it.

Howard wins the bet and celebrates with Julia, one of his employees who he's having an affair with. The next day, Demany, Howard's associate who brings potential customers to the shop, informs him that Kevin wishes to keep the opal longer. That night, Howard is ambushed at his daughter's school play by Phil and Nico, who take him to Arno. Howard tries to explain his plan to him but Arno tells him he put a stop on the bet, as it was made with his (Arno's) money. Arno then orders Phil and Nico to strip Howard naked and lock him in the trunk of his own car. Howard calls his wife Dinah, who rescues him.

After some events where Howard breaks up with Julia for her cheating on him with The Weekend, Kevin takes the opal to Howard. He wants to buy it and offers him $175,000 for it. Howard refuses and tells him he is auctioning it, much to Kevin's interest.

While having a dinner for a Jewish celebration, Howard brags to Gooey, his father-in-law about the opal. Arno overhears this and becomes interested in this. When Howard takes the opal to the auction house it is appraised by $150,000, much to Howard's complaints. Desperate to raise the value of it, he convinces Gooey to bid for the gem so that Kevin fights for it by raising the value. Howard's plan backfires when at $200,000, Kevin bows out and Gooey wins. Howard realizes Arno was also at the auction. Mad at Howard, Gooey gives him the opal to sell it so that he can get his money back. Howard talks to Arno, who's waiting outside the building with Phil and Nico. Howard pretends to phone Kevin but this infuriates Arno and Phil hits him in the neck with his elbow. After recovering his composure, Howard insists and Phil punches him in the nose and then has Nico throw him into a fountain.

Humiliated, Howard returns to his shop, where he has an emotional breakdown. He is comforted by Julia and they fix their relationship. Howard gets a call from Garnett's assistant informing him he's willing to pay the $175,000 for the opal. Howard agrees and Garnett comes to the shop after he retrieves his ring. Howard closes the deal and now is obsessed to bet Garnett's pay for the gem on his game that night, trusting his relationship with the gem. Arno and his men arrive to the shop and Howard manages to give Julia the money as well as indications to bet it on the Mohegan Casino. Julia barely escapes Arno and his men, but when they interrogate Howard about the money and learn it is being bet again, they anger and try to chase Julia. Half of Arno's men leave, but Julia is long gone. Howard provokes Phil and slaps him across the face, at which point an enraged Phil drags Howard to the window. Arno tries to stop him as he thinks he's going too far, but Phil and Nico hang Howard by his legs from the window trying to make him call Julia. Howard agrees, but backs down later. Phil, tired of this, decides to go get Julia himself, but Howard locks them in the shops vestibule inside the safety glass box entrance. Phil pulls a gun on Howard but he convinces him not to shoot as it is bulletproof glass. Phil makes a phone call. Fearing for his family, Howard calls Dinah and tells her there's a gas leak in their house and she needs to get out of there with their kids, then turns on the TV to watch the game. When the bet is placed, he calls Julia to confirm and makes Arno and his men listen to her.

Howard wins the bet and celebrates, and while Julia gets the money and sneaks past Arno's men, Howard releases the trio. Arno is astounded by this, but Phil, enraged, sick and tired of Howard, shoots him in the face, killing him. Arno, horrified, protests, but Phil rebels against his boss, tired of his incompetence and menaces him at gunpoint. Phil then orders Nico to loot the shop. Arno tries to escape but Phil shoots him in the head. Dinah, who's concerned Howard's in trouble due to the recent events, calls the police on the store. Julia prepares to return to Howard, unaware of his death, and as Phil and Nico are looting the shop, police sirens are heard in the distance implying they're going to be arrested as the movie ends with Howard lying dead on the ground.

Trivia

  • Discovered while walking towards the L train, at 1st Avenue and 14th Street, Uncut Gems is Keith Williams Richards's first acting gig, amateur or professional.
  • When asked if he grew up with mob guys he said: "I mean... Listen, I'm a kid from Brooklyn. What do you think? You know? That's all I'm going to say about that."
  • Keith Williams Richards is one of the many actor debuts in Uncut Gems alongside The Weeknd, Kevin Garnett, Tommy Kominik (Nico) amongst others.
  • Despite being the secondary antagonist, Phil is more dangerous than Arno, and eventually killed Arno and Howard after becoming fed up with both of them.
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.