“Friends are the family YOU CHOOSE…”
This Review is brought to you by Kathy Kaiser
THE PEANUT BUTTER FALCON – Rated PG-13 – 1 hr. 33 mins.
DIRECTORS/WRITERS: Michael Schwartz and Tyler Nilson
STARRING: Shia LaBeouf, Dakota Johnson, Bruce Dern, Thomas Haden Church, John Hawkes, and featuring Zack Gottsagen
As we trod down a path less traveled, as this Mark Twainesque adventure unfolds, we meet Zak (Zack Gottsagen), a young man with Downs Syndrome, who by no fault of his own, has been cooped up in an old folks’ home for far too long. Zak passes his time longing to meet his idol, The Saltwater Redneck (Thomas Haden Church), who is not only a wrestler, but a wrestling instructor too. When his roommate Carl (Bruce Dern) assists Zak in a rather masterful escape, it seems that he is now on the lam, seeking out a way to find his idol, so he too can learn the art of Wrestling.
When caseworker Eleanor (Dakota Johnson) realizes Zack is on the run, she has to find him, before he gets himself into a situation, that he has no idea how to get out of. As fate would have it, Zak ends up crossing paths with local hooligan & fisherman Tyler (Shia LaBeouf), who seems to be as lost in his own life, as Zak presently is in his. So, as these two new compadres make their way in the world, traveling to find Zak’s idol ~ they both soon find too, that you can achieve anything in this life if you put your mind to it, and as long as you have the people who truly love you ~ for you ~ along for the ride…
Writer & Director Michael Schwartz and Tyler Nilson have created a film that exudes from every frame of its being, the beauty and brilliance of one young man’s life, and as authentically genuine and real as it gets. Shia LaBeouf is exceptional, and I feel, at the top of his game this time around, playing the lost in life, and rather downtrodden Tyler. Newcomer Zack Gottsagen is absolutely incredible every step of the way too, in this film that Schwartz and Nilson saw fit to write and create, just for him! Dakota Johnson is fabulous too, playing Zak’s caseworker, as she really shines in this heartfelt and dramatic role. And once you bring in veteran actors Bruce Dern, John Hawkes and Thomas Haden Church to the mix, The Peanut Butter Falcon soars to new heights, bringing you a passionate story of humanity and kindness, that you absolutely must experience for yourself! And if this films perfectly crafted storyline doesn’t tug enough at your heartstrings enough to reel you in, the cinematography of this masterpiece in the making sure will, as this film plays out as a love story to our way of life in the bayous, throughout every inch of this film as well. Suffice to say that The Peanut Butter Falcon is one of those rare films that will touch every fiber of your being by the time it’s through, making it a definite MUST SEE ON THE BIG SCREEN film for me, which shouldn’t be viewed any other way! It truly is one of the most touching and compassionate films I’ve seen in a very long time, and you will totally be doing yourself an injustice if you don’t run out to a theater near you this weekend and catch The Peanut Butter Falcon, in all its glory, as soon as possible…
This humble opinion is brought to by you T. K. Edwards
THE PEANUT BUTTER FALCON – Rated PG-13 – 1 hr. 33 mins
Director: Tyler Nilson & Michael Schwartz
Cast: Shia LaBeouf, Dakota Johnson, Zack Gottsagen, John Hawkes, Thomas Haden Church, Bruce Dern, Jon Bernthal
Zak runs away from his care home to make his dream of becoming a wrestler come true.
NO SPOILERS BELOW
THE PEANUT BUTTER FALCON was such a welcome surprise as far as an independent film that had more heart and humor than I was expecting. The title alone makes people stop and go “bug eyed” if they haven’t heard of it yet. I know when I was telling people about the movie, everyone’s initial reaction to the title was exactly the same, they each said – “What’s the name of the movie?”, followed immediately by, “What the hell is it about?”. So instead of telling them, I just let the trailer do the talking and I have to say, once again, everyone had the same response which was – “That looks good”, followed immediately by, “I’d see that” (LMAO). I love watching independent movies and I’ll use THE PEANUT BUTTER FALCON as an example to why I do. One: They are always a surprise to me. You never know what you’re going to see when you watch an independent movie because they’re not oversaturated by how much the movie company advertise them. The only way you really know anything about these films is if you do your own research by reading up on them or if you go out of your way to watch the trailer. That being said, the only way you’re going to see a trailer for this movie is if it starts having a following. A great example of this exact situation is the movie THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE OF EBBING MISSOURI. No one heard anything about that movie until the actors started getting nominated for awards. A second reason I love independent movies is the cast. The cast of independent films usually give audiences the feeling they care just “that much” more. Maybe it’s because the project hits closer to home for them. Maybe the story is their own. Maybe they want to help their friends to make it. Whatever the reason is, the cast usually gives 120% and that is definitely the case with THE PEANUT BUTTER FALCON. Shia LaBeouf stands out front with this point the most. We all know him from his crazy weird antics he’s been doing the past few years, but what a lot of us have forgotten is the guy is a great actor. He really is. And he shows us just how diverse he can be with his role in this movie. I attribute the success of this whole movie to him. I don’t want to take away from the other lead of this film, Zack Gottsagen, he does a great job too and I would say he’s the heart of the film and the rest of the supporting cast are amazing too, but the driving force of THE PEANUT BUTTER FALCON, the thing that moves this machine forward is Shia LaBeouf. As far as my recommendation for THE PEANUT BUTTER FALCON, I would say this one is either one you should see in theaters or wait to watch it at home. Either way, it’s definitely worth watching and I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised by how much you will be taken with both the characters and the story. Until next time, thanks for reading.
P.S. – There is no post credit scene.