Sunday, September 22, 2019     Volume: 20, Issue: 29
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Santa Maria Sun / Film

This weeks review
AD ASTRA
AFTER THE WEDDING
ANGEL HAS FALLEN
AVENGERS: ENDGAME
BINGEABLE: A.P. BIO
BINGEABLE: Barry
BINGEABLE: FLEABAG
BINGEABLE: GRACE AND FRANKIE
BINGEABLE: RUSSIAN DOLL
BINGEABLE: STRANGER THINGS 3
BINGEABLE: THE SINNER (SEASON 2)
BLAST FROM THE PAST: FRIENDS
BLAST FROM THE PAST: HOUSE
BLAST FROM THE PAST: RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK
BLAST FROM THE PAST: THE MATRIX
BLINDED BY THE LIGHT
CRAWL
DORA AND THE LOST CITY OF GOLD
DOWNTON ABBEY
FAST & FURIOUS PRESENTS: HOBBS & SHAW
GUILTY PLEASURE: THE HANGOVER
GUILTY PLEASURES: BARBIE LIFE IN THE DREAMHOUSE
HATEWATCH: CHOPPED
HATEWATCH: FRANKENSTEIN’S MONSTER’S MONSTER, FRANKENSTEIN
HEARST CASTLE: BUILDING THE DREAM
IT: CHAPTER 2
ONCE UPON A TIME … IN HOLLYWOOD
RAMBO: LAST BLOOD
SCARY STORIES TO TELL IN THE DARK
SPIDER-MAN: FAR FROM HOME (EXTENDED CUT)
THE ART OF RACING IN THE RAIN
THE BIGGEST LITTLE FARM
THE GOLDFINCH
THE KITCHEN
THE PEANUT BUTTER FALCON
UNDERRATED: BATMAN BEGINS
UNDERRATED: SHUTTER ISLAND
UNDERRATED: THE BATTERED BASTARDS OF BASEBALL
UNDERRATED: THE FALLING
YESTERDAY

THE PEANUT BUTTER FALCON

PHOTO BY PHOTO COURTESY OF ARMORY FILMS

THE PEANUT BUTTER FALCON


Where is it playing?: Parks Plaza

What's it rated?: PG-13

What's it worth?: $Full price (Glen Starkey)

User Rating: 0.00 (0 Votes)

Writers-directors Tyler Nilson and Michael Schwartz helm this adventure dramedy about Zak (Zack Gottsagen), a young man with Down syndrome, who runs away from a nursing home to pursue his dream of becoming a professional wrestler. With the help of small-time outlaw Tyler (Shia LeBeouf), and kind nursing home employee, Eleanor (Dakota Johnson), the trio embarks on a Mark Twain-like odyssey.

This sweet crowd pleaser hits all the right notes and is enriched by a stellar cast. It opens with 22-year-old Zak, a ward of the state, stuck in a nursing home because the state “has nowhere else to put him.” The nursing home residents love him because he’s a sweet young man, but he doesn’t belong there. His roommate is Carl (an excellent Bruce Dern), who’s exceedingly tired of watching Zak’s old wrestling tapes of his favorite pro wrestler The Salt Water Redneck, aka Clint (an equally excellent Thomas Haden Church), who runs a small wrestling school. Long story short, Zak eventually slips out of the home and is on the road.

Meanwhile, we meet Tyler, who’s stealing crabs out of crab pots. Through flashbacks, we learn he had a brother, Mark (Jon Bernthal), with whom he fished but who has since passed away. Tyler’s just trying to get by, but the crab pot owners—Duncan (John Hawkes) and Ratboy (Yelawolf)—are now out to get him, forcing him to run. Tyler, at first reluctantly but later joyfully, promises to get Zak to the Salt Water Redneck’s wrestling school, and off they go, Huck Finn style.

The humor throughout is pitch perfect, and there’s something special about watching differently-abled actor Zack Gottsagen embody Zak, who has a lot to teach audiences about what it means to have Down syndrome. There’s a scene when Zak and Tyler are talking about good guys and bad guys in pro wrestling, and it sets up the heart of the film.

Johnson as Eleanor is perfectly cast, and she and LeBeouf have great chemistry as their two characters spark a romance. The film is ultimately about finding your own family, the power of acceptance, but also about redemption, especially for Tyler, whose existence hovers between good guy/bad guy status.

This is a small film with a big heart. I loved it. (93 min.)

—Glen




Weekly Poll
The U.S. Census is going online for the first time. Is it even possible to get an accurate count?

No. There's now way to get an accurate count.
Yes. We just need to put enough resources into outreach.
We need a better system.
I don't care.

| Poll Results