A young man with Down syndrome runs away from his care
home to pursue his dream of becoming a professional wrestler.
The Peanut Butter Falcon (2019)
Written and Directed by Tyler Nilson and Michael Schwartz
Starring Zack Gottsagen, Shia LaBeouf, Dakota Johnson,
John Hawkes, Thomas Haden Church, Bruce Dern
The Peanut Butter Falcon is the first feature length film for Nilson and Schwartz. They’ve always worked as a team and finally, we get a film that surely won’t be their last. The Peanut Butter Falcon is a story about two men on the run for very different reasons. It’s sort of a modern retelling of Huckleberry Finn. The two men running are Zak (Gottsagen) and Tyler (LaBeouf). Zak is a 22 year old with Down syndrome who dreams of becoming a pro wrestler and Tyler is a 30 something year old who works on the water for a living. Their paths cross under crazy circumstances and then they are off!
The supporting cast does a wonderful job. It’s really cool to see guys like Bruce Dern take a backseat and just do their part in a film. That’s when you know everyone believes in the story that’s being told. Shia continues to raise the bar with under the radar roles that have stacked up quite nicely over time. I just wrote a review for American Honey and said that his role in that is my favorite of his, but I think I changed my mind today. As far as I’m concerned, Shia has been on fire for the past 7 years. Gottsagen actually has Down syndrome and he met Nilson and Schwartz at a camp for disabled actors. The three of them decided that they should create something together and we got The Peanut Butter Falcon out of it. This is simply a must see for everyone, and I can’t wait to see what’s next for Nilson and Schwartz.