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  • Gareth Crook

The Peanut Butter Falcon (2019)

Updated: Mar 8, 2020

You could file this under quirky, but if you do be sure to add a dose of lovely and a bucket-load of ridiculous fun. Zak (Zack Gottsagen) is in an old folks home. Except he’s a young man. He has Down syndrome though and with no family, the state with no other options has him there under the care of Dakota Johnson. With the help of his understanding (and sadly under used) room mate Bruce Dern, he hatches an escape plan, one that sees him half naked on a boat in the Florida glades with Shia LeBeouf, who plays Tyler, also without family, home or prospects. Zak is open, friendly, inquisitive and obsessed with wrestling. Tyler is angry. Until he realised they’re both fugitives of a sort. It’s a bit banjos and desolation, but the burgeoning friendship between the two unlikely leads is every bit as life affirming as anything I’ve watched recently. Gottsagen is fantastic, sweet, charming and magnetic on screen. He brings out the best in LeBeouf, who can be a divisive presence, but here he’s warm and uncharacteristically likeable. Now granted it is a bit overly idyllic, unlikely, a safe tale of adventure, but hey what’s wrong with that, it’s nice sometimes to allow yourself to drift. It’s also a little absurd, especially as Zak becomes the Peanut Butter Falcon, but even for its playful nature, it’s really just simply beautiful.



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