Welcome to my choice for the best movie of 2019. After hearing rave reviews from friends[i] and The World and Everything In It, we decided we wouldn’t wait for The Peanut Butter Falcon to leave the theaters and hit RedBox. Our decision was rewarded with one of our favorite movies we’ve seen in a long time.
The Peanut Butter Falcon is a story about two broken young men. Zak (played by Zack Gottsagen) is a young man with Down syndrome, whose family has abandoned him. A ward of the state, he now lives in a nursing home and longs for family and becoming the professional wrestler he believes he was made to be (“The Peanut Butter Falcon” will eventually be his wrestling alter-ego).
Tyler (played by Shia LaBeouf) is a young man who at first blush seems to as different a human being from Zak as one could imagine. He’s a sullen fisherman who is thieving crab cages to make ends meet. Beneath the surface, though, is a young man struggling with grief and guilt over the death of his brother.
The world of the two young men collide as they both are on the lam and headed toward a murky future they only can hope is better than what lies behind them. The story riffs on Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn without being derivative. Chasing Zak down is his kindhearted caretaker Eleanor (played by the charming Dakota Johnson) from the nursing home. Chasing Tyler down are two thuggish fisherman who are after a pound of his flesh for his theft.
Along the way Tyler’s hard, self-loathing heart will be softened by Zak and Zak’s crushed spirit will be brought to life by Tyler.