The Peanut Butter Falcon
Tyler Nilson and Mike Schwartz's The Peanut Butter Falcon is cinema in its purist form. Shia LaBeouf and Zack Gottsagen lead a cinematic journey that's full of heart and charm, reminding us just why it is that we go to the movies -- to feel, to be moved and to believe in anything and everything.
Tyler Nilson and Mike Schwartz‘s The Peanut Butter Falcon is my without a doubt my favorite film of 2019. It’s a film that’s full of more heart and courage than any other film that I have seen up until this point and a movie that will raise your spirits and fill you with goodness as it shares its story.
The plot is rather simple; Zack (Zack Gottsagen) is a young man with a dream to become a professional wrestler. His Down syndrome may sound like a disadvantage, but it’s really just another excuse for those that don’t know him to tell him what he can’t do.
This is why he springs out of the retirement home that he lives at to embark on an adventure of a lifetime. During his adventure, he runs into Tyler (Shia LaBeouf), a drifter just trying to live his life and avoid any trouble.
Together, the two make a pact to get Zack to his wrestling school, while Tyler heads to Florida to start a new life at sea, in the shadow of his brother.
Joining them along for the ride is Eleanor (Dakota Johnson), Zack’s caretaker from the retirement home that wants to make sure Zack is safe and comfortable.
The Peanut Butter Falcon is exactly what the trailers and synopsis’ make it out to be — a modern day Mark Twain adventure that has our characters facing reality along their way, discovering just what it means to live and to be alive.
Directors/writers Tyler Nilson and Mike Schwartz have constructed a film that’s the truest form of cinema, a labor of love that shows its beating heart every single chance that it gets. A film full of characters unafraid to dare and to take chances in the face of conflict.
The Peanut Butter Falcon absolutely roars as its stars turn in performances that are simply some of the best that I’ve seen this year. Shia LeBeouf returns to the top of his game as Tyler, a kind-hearted, down-on-his-luck man that’s just trying to navigate through the ocean of life after losing his brother and struggling to find his own path. LeBeouf’s likability shines through Tyler as we are introduced to him early on and watch him grow into a friendship with Zack, played with charm and personality by Zack Gottsagen.
It’s hard not to acknowledge Zack’s personal and honest performance that magnetically attracts to LeBeouf’s Tyler — the two really do feel like the best of friends as they learn more about each and strengthen their bond.
The film’s ability to cover so much ground and present so many emotions through their core relationship is what makes it shine. Tyler and Zack’s adventure may seem simple on paper, but their added baggage and personal experience make for a film that feels as epic as any blockbuster.
Nilson and Schwartz wisely never let up on the momentum, keeping the film sailing along the coast as we discover more about Tyler’s past and Zack’s ambitions. Seeing these moments unfold feel as if time has stopped, only to allow us to reflect on our own lives through these characters’ journey.
Everyone at some point is told that they can’t do something or that their dreams are not important. The Peanut Butter Falcon is about discovering your inner-strength, following your heart and determining if you are that good person that you see shining in the mirror.
I’m struggling to think of a movie that had as big of an impact on me as The Peanut Butter Falcon has so far this year. It’s a movie that can’t help itself from making you feel good and from making you appreciate life and all of the joy that it has to offer.
The Peanut Butter Falcon is the definition of a perfect film. It’s the very reason why we go to the movies — to escape into a story that’s larger-than-life, yet so relatable and intimate. It’s about good vs. evil, becoming the person that you were meant to be and about living your absolute best life, with those that matter the most.