‘The Peanut Butter Falcon’ Film Review: Road-Picture Buddy Comedy Avoids Disability Stereotypes

  • The Wrap
‘The Peanut Butter Falcon’ Film Review: Road-Picture Buddy Comedy Avoids Disability Stereotypes
Borrowing the off-the-grid Southern landscapes of “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” and adding the energetic, spirited Zack Gottsagen — supported by a very engaging Shia Labeouf and Dakota Johnson — “The Peanut Butter Falcon” is charming, enveloping, and an absolute joy.

Zak (first-timer Gottsagen) is a 22-year-old with Down syndrome; after being abandoned by his relatives, he lives in a nursing home because the state has no other facilities that would supply the care he needs. Looked after by administrator Eleanor (Johnson) and several of the other residents, Zak watches old wrestling videos of his idol, “The Saltwater Redneck” (Thomas Haden Church), and dreams of escaping the home to attend the Redneck’s wrestling school.

One night, with the help of his roommate, who believes Zak should be out experiencing life, Zak escapes wearing only his tighty-whities. Determined, he runs through most of the night, finally finding a moment to rest on a small boat,
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