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KPCW sends its most discerning moviegoers to the movies each week to let you know which films are worth going to, and which are a pass. The Friday Film Review airs after the Noon News at 12:30PM and during The Local View. KPCW Friday Film Reviewers are: Barb Bretz, Rick Brough, Mark Harrington, Linda Jager.

Friday Film Review - "The Peanut Butter Falcon"

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“The Peanut Butter Falcon”, a bitter-sweet buddy comedy, won the Audience Award at South By Southwest this year.

“The Peanut Butter Falcon”, with its Bluegrass soundtrack is set in the Outer Banks, which adds an eerie mystique. The film contains too much redneck violence to be called charming yet watching the dynamics between the actors I saw something magical take place.

Rather than tell you the story, which you'll love...I'm focusing on the making of the film and the diverse and interesting cast.

The star, Zack Gottsagen, a 34-year-old man with Down's Syndrome, was no stranger to the acting field. He grew up in Palm Beach, Florida with a strong desire to act. His mom fought for him to attend an arts magnet school after his application had been rejected. Zack was discovered by directors Tyler Nilson and Michael Schwartz, who saw him in a project featuring actors...... with and without disabilities......who attend an annual camp to write, produce and star in original short films.

They wrote this role specifically FOR Zack and promised him the film would get made no matter the obstacles and there were many.

For Shia LaBeouf, who plays Tyler, a guy with a good heart making bad decisions, this role was a life-changer. Jailed on a drunk and disorderly charge during the filming in 2017, he has acknowledged that his relationship with Zack got him sober and changed his life. I SWEAR you see this happening before your eyes on the big screen.

(On a side note; LaBeouf entered rehab following the shoot and as part of his therapy wrote the script for “Honey Boy”, based loosely on his childhood relationship with his troubled father, which premiered at Sundance 2019. LaBeouf was phenomenal playing his own father which had to have been another cathartic experience.)

Dakota Johnson, plays Eleanor, a volunteer at the nursing home who cares about the elderly- residents and young Zack. Johnson said, “Working with Zack was the most honest and loving experience I've had with another actor. He's pure light and he totally changed my heart.”

Bruce Dern, as Zack's roommate, is the ideal crotchety, old man.

John Hawkes, is Duncan, a vicious, local fisherman and Thomas Hayden-Church brings good-hearted humor to the role of a washed up wrestler.

Yelawolf, an American rapper covered with real tats literally adds color to the cast, as do pro-wrestling legends, Jake “The Snake” Roberts and Mick Foley.

One of Zack's lines after a particularly harrowing experience sums it up. “This will be a good story to tell.” He got that right.

See “The Peanut Butter Falcon” and watch magic happen. It's rated PG-13 and runs 1 hour and 38 compelling minutes. Park City Film screens it October 18-20.

Friday Film Reviewer & Monthly Book Reviewer
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