The Peanut Butter Falcon: Film Review

Shia LaBeouf has had a few rough years during which he became more known for his personal problems and run-ins with the law. But now he’s making his comeback. The Peanut Butter Falcon – along with his biopic Honey Boy – both put him firmly back on the map. It is one of the sweetest films I’ve seen in a long time.

The film, a modern-day Huckleberry Finn tale, follows Zak (Zack Gottsagen), who suffers from Down’s Syndrome and lives in a retirement home, where he is looked after by Eleanor (Dakota Johnson). He escapes so he can fulfil his dream of learning to become a wrestler at a school run by the Saltwater Redneck (Thomas Haden Church). He hides on a boat and is discovered by troubled fisherman Tyler (LaBeouf), who takes him on a trip to this school, while Eleanor tries to track him down.

This film is so heartwarming and lovely. It will leave you with the biggest smile on your face. I rarely want films to be longer but I could have easily stayed with this trio a little bit more.

Films featuring people with disabilities have to be treated with care and sensitivity and this does so. This could have easily been overly sentimental and sappy but it’s earnest, sincere and uplifting always. The blossoming friendship between Zack and Tyler is far-fetched but so, so lovely to see. Seeing them swim, learn to shoot and train will warm anyone’s heart while seeing the Saltwater Redneck do something special for Zack and Eleanor learning to let him experience life rather than coddle him constantly is just so damn lovely.

LaBeouf has never been better. Between this and Honey Boy he is doing very good work and is making one heck of a comeback. Gottsagen, a non-professional, is a natural in front of the camera and their chemistry was brilliant. Johnson was a worthy addition to their duo.

The Peanut Butter Falcon is the most feel-good film I’ve seen in ages. Do yourself a favour and see it.

In selected cinemas now 

Rating: 5/5

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