The Peanut Butter Falcon

Winner of the 2019 South by Southwest Audience Award for a narrative film, The Peanut Butter Falcon is a heartwarming and quite beautiful comedy drama that has the feel of a Mark Twain adventure story that follows an unlikely friendship between two very different protagonists. The movie follows 22-year-old Zak, played by Zach Gottsagen, who has Down syndrome and lives at an elderly nursing home under the tender care of an employee named Eleanor, played by Dakota Johnson. Tired of his lack of freedom, Zak, with the help of his elderly roommate played by Bruce Dern, is finally able to escape and go on an adventure throughout North Carolina where he lives. Eventually, he meets a down-on-his-luck fisherman named Tyler, played by Shia LaBeouf in one of his best acting performances, who begrudgingly takes Zak on a wild adventure to meet Zak’s wrestling idol who lives in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Eleanor is desperately trying to find Zak who she worries is all alone and in need of help. Eventually, she finds Zak with Tyler and is convinced to join their journey on their makeshift raft floating in the Outer Banks. Throughout the course of the film, Tyler matures through his developing close relationships with Zak, and they both have wonderfully fun times together and encountering eccentric people, including a blind minister. Overall, I found it to be one of the best movies of the year because of its truly inspiring and uplifting story that is full of genuine love and joy. The filmmakers do an amazing of creating a film that does not take pity on Zak because of his disability but rather uplifts his story to be one of perseverance, courage, and normalcy.

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