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Subtitled: The Peanut Butter Falcon

Tyler Nilson, Michael Schwartz

A young man with Down Syndrome runs away to fulfil his dream of becoming a professional wrestler in The Peanut Butter Falcon, a warm, heartfelt, modern-day spin on Mark Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn from writer/director duo Tyler Nilson and Michael Schwartz and the producers of Little Miss Sunshine.

"Refreshingly modern and bracingly optimistic..."

Zak (performer, teacher and disability advocate Zack Gottsagen, around whom the film was crafted) lives in a nursing home but dreams of becoming a professional wrestler. Stifled by an institutional atmosphere that isn’t appropriate for him, Zak absconds in the night, embarking on the journey of a lifetime. He has one goal in mind – to reach the wrestling school of his idol, the Salt Water Redneck (Thomas Haden Church). On the road, Zach meets Tyler (Shia LaBeouf), a small time outlaw. An unlikely team, these two outsiders end up winding through deltas, eluding capture, drinking whisky, finding God, catching fish, and convincing Eleanor (Dakota Johnson), a kind nursing home employee charged with Zak’s return, to join them.

Shot on location in Georgia, The Peanut Butter Falcon draws considerable power from the off-the-grid rural south it depicts, as well as Gottsagen and LaBeouf’s committed performances and an excellent wider cast that includes Bruce Dern, John Hawks and Jon Bernthal. Emotive even as it keeps sentimentality at bay, it feels refreshingly modern and bracingly optimistic, a contemporary road-movie riff on a classic American story.