Sunday, September 08, 2019

Movies: The Peanut Butter Falcon

The river journey has been a staple of American fiction since Huck Finn, and "The Peanut Butter Falcon" continues the tradition by sending an odd couple (a runaway dreaming of becoming a pro wrestler and a roguish fisherman) down North Carolina's Outer Banks:



The film is a feel-good passion project of writer-directors Tyler Nilson and Mike Schwartz, who wrote the movie specifically to show off actor Zack Gottsagen's talents. It's been tough for Gottsagen to break through (he hails from Boynton Beach and has Down syndrome), but this film should change that.  Gottsagen and his costars Shia LeBeouf and Dakota Johnson (both doing the best work they've done in years) give the film a good-natured energy, and are joined by a fine supporting cast that includes Thomas Haden Church, Bruce Dern, and Jon Bernthal.

In its reliance on the river setting and the personal dilemmas of the protagonists, the movie reminds me a lot of "The Cure," and it unfortunately shares some of the same problems, like loose plotting and a third act that wraps up a little too tidily to feel natural. Still, I enjoyed seeing a local boy like Gottsagen make good, and I do recommend "The Peanut Butter Falcon."

Rating: 8/10

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