The Peanut Butter Falcon

Just when I thought I had seen the best that summer 2019 had to offer, “The Peanut Butter Falcon” stole my heart.

“The Peanut Butter Falcon” is a new independent comedy-drama with little backing it up but star power. Tyler Nilson and Michael Schwartz, the writer/director duo behind the film, have no other credits to their names, so it was very possible that this film could have flopped entirely.

What got most people to see the film were the names involved. Seeing Shia LeBeouf return to the big screen was the biggest draw for me, but “The Peanut Butter Falcon” had other big names behind it as well, such as Dakota Johnson, Jon Bernthal, Mick Foley and Jake “the Snake” Roberts. Luckily, the film had more than just star power to its name; it also had a moving, heartwarming story.

The film centers around Zak, a 22-year-old orphan with Down Syndrome. After he successfully escapes his care home, he tries to follow his dreams of becoming a professional wrestler. He runs into man-on-the-run, Tyler, and on the way to a wrestling school, the two form an unexpected bond.

This movie charmed me from its opening shots. The film features stunning cinematography by Nigel Bluck who showcased how beautiful the swamps of North Carolina can be.

Tyler Nilson and Michael Schwartz prove that not having any credits behind your name says nothing about your talent. The film is not only beautifully directed but also features an emotionally moving and hilarious screenplay.

“The Peanut Butter Falcon” also features phenomenal performances. Shia LeBeouf has returned to the big screen after mostly becoming an internet meme, and I can confirm he is fantastic in this film.

However, the real star of the show is Zack Gottsagen. The film was written in order to give the actor with down syndrome a starring role, and its clear to see why Nilson and Schwartz made this decision. Gottsagen is charming and full of heart. It’s a shame that more films don’t use more actors with down syndrome, as its clear that Gottsagen is an expert at his craft.

The only real complaint I have with the film is the way it ended. It felt really rushed, as if Nilson and Schwartz had no real way to wrap the film up. They also made a very strange decision by making the viewer think something was happening, just to prove them wrong 30 seconds later, which left a very sour note in my mouth as the credits began to roll.

“The Peanut Butter Falcon” may be one of the best films of the year so far, with a story that’ll make you laugh and maybe even cry. If you are in the mood for a wholesome film that won’t overstay its welcome, this one might just be up your alley.

4/5 Stars

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