“The sweetest damn film of the decade”: The heartwarming delights of The Peanut Butter Falcon

(image courtesy IMP Awards)

The Peanut Butter Falcon is an adventure story set in the world of a modern Mark Twain that begins when Zak, a young man with Down syndrome, runs away from the nursing home where he lives to chase his dream of becoming a professional wrestler by attending the wrestling school The Salt Water Redneck. Through circumstances beyond their control Tyler, a small-time outlaw on the run, becomes Zak’s unlikely coach and ally. Together they wind through deltas, elude capture, drink whisky, find God, catch fish, and convince Eleanor, a kind nursing home employee with a story of her own, to join them on their journey. (synopsis via Rialto Distribution)

As human beings, we all have a powerful need to belong, and to feel as if our life matters in some deeply mneaingful way.

These twin impulses drive us to do all kinds of things in pursuit of the holy grail of connection, including, if your Zak in the blissfully-named The Peanut Butter Falcon, to run from a nursing home, with a sweet, caring worker in tow, to live out a lifelong dream as a wrestler.

Granted it’s not everyone’s dream but it is Zak’s and he goes to seriously involved lengths to make it happen, in the process creating a family of friends who don’t know at the start how much they really need each other.

To say this movie resonates on all kinds of levels is to seriously under-describe its vibrantly-quirky heart and soul and way it speaks to that yearning we all have to do something memorable with our three-score-and-ten and to have people who mean the world to us around us as we do.

It’s what everyone wants and it’s why this gorgeous film is attracting so much loving including this lovely summation of the film’s appeal from Variety:

“… there’s a heartfelt quality to the picture, in which LaBeouf stars opposite a young man with Down syndrome, that transcends such misbehavior, resulting in a feel-good niche indie with its priorities in the right place.”

The Peanut Butter Falcon is currently playing in USA and UK; Australian release date to be confirmed.

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