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The Peanut Butter Falcon is an adventure story set in the world of a modern Mark Twain that begins when Zak (22), a young man with Down syndrome, runs away from the nursing home where he lives to chase his dream of becoming a professional wrestler by attending the wrestling school The Salt Water Redneck. Through circumstances beyond their control Tyler (32), a small-time outlaw on the run, becomes Zak's unlikely coach and ally. Together they wind through deltas, elude capture, drink whisky, find God, catch fish, and convince Eleanor (28), a kind nursing home employee with a story of her own, to join them on their journey.Written by
The Peanut Butter Falcon follows Zak, a Down's syndrome patient living in an assisted living home, as he runs away from his care home to make his dream of becoming a wrestler come true. Along the way he meets Tyler, a man on the run after committing a crime, and the two make an unbreakable bond as they spend days together learning about each other. I had heard only good things about this film since it aired at various film festivals. I tried not to have the plot revealed too much to me which I think benefits sometimes. I was very surprised to see how many people went to see this film at 10 in the morning. That was giving me high hopes. Also the almost perfect critic and audience score told me something as well. What a heart warming film. We haven't had a film like this in a while that has a great message and is made to make us happy. The plot, though it can be pretty unrealistic at times, makes for a fun adventure. Zack Gottsagen as Zak is definitely the standout here. What a great performance. He has so much to work with to embody his character. He provides most of the comedy and there's no way to hate him. Shia LeBeof has finally had a great performance and I personally think the best of his career. I understood where he was coming from and how he perceives himself. One of the questions asked in the film is who's the bad guy and who's the good guy. He knows the bad things he has done and doesn't know which is heartbreaking almost. Yet he continues on with life an eventually meets Zak. Their bond was so strong where I stopped seeing Shia and Zack and saw their characters. You can tell a film is good performance wise when you forget who is playing who. I'm was just so happy when they were together and the serious scenes too. Dakota Johnson plays a worker from the assisted living home who is trying to find Zak. She did very well and probably one of her best performances as well. I want too invested in her character but she provided some good topics to talk about. One of my favorite scenes was with her and Shia and he's explaining to her that she's treating him differently since Zak has Down's Syndrome and she should just treat him like any normal person and not like he's a child. This film is very good at provides good insight and a beautiful way. I realized this film was special when the woman sitting next to me started crying at a feel-good moment that was a little emotional. Great films should affect you in some sort of way, typically it happens through emotion. It does get emotional at times. It was needed and knew when to keep on a scene longer or when to switch. There was one exception with the climax of the film. A big event happened and about two minutes later it ended. I would've liked just a little more since it ended abruptly. That was my only major flaw. Technically this is a beautifully shot film with amazing shots from above of the scenery, especially along the beaches and water. The score was good and peaceful. The technical stuff set the tone right for me. I'd definitely recommend seeing The Peanut Butter Falcon. I really hope it's in consideration for awards this upcoming season. If you live around the central Wisconsin area it'll be playing at the Stevens Point theater and I believe still at the Cedar Creek cinema in Wausau (that's where I saw it).
My Grade: A-
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