A young man with Down Syndrome flees from a residential nursing home to pursue his dream in becoming a pro wrestler. On his way, he befriends an outlaw that may be more than just an ally.
This is the film I've been looking for all year. A strongly written indie with ambitious arcs and an overall feel-good atmosphere. I’m embarrassed that I took this long to see it, but without question, this is one of my favorite films of 2019. Writer-directors Tyler Nilson and Michael Schwartz goes full Mark Twain and delivers a unique story on friendship and the right to live. It’s humorous, heartwarming, clever, and charming throughout while leading some of the best performances of the year.
Shia Labeouf is back! After a lengthy hiatus, Shia has returned to the industry and I am glad that he chose the indie route. With his directorial debut “Honey Boy” arriving in a month, it is needless to say that he will end the year strong. He presents a striking performance of a character who is intelligence yet dangerous, but somehow still empty. We get to witness a stellar transition in his character, and we can give all the praise to Zack Gottsagen for that. I commend the studio for seeking an actual actor with down syndrome. It is impossible to not smile when he’s on screen. He’s hilarious, extremely ambitious, and truly the nail that drives this story forward. Without him, we would not have this story.
This film is not only beautifully written, it is masterfully shot too. The cinematography is magical with mesmerizing wide shots and POV that I don't think I've seen before. In huge blockbusters, sometimes the simplicity of filmmaking is forgotten and heavily masked with CGI aftereffects; but the power of cinema always prevails when you go back to the basics. I can ensure you it doesn’t get any better than that.
In a month where film is subpar, “The Peanut Butter Falcon” stands out. After my viewing I had no issue seeing the film again. There are only a few years where films like this are released into theaters. Other than that, I usually find a film of this caliber at large film festivals. Raw emotion and personal storytelling are not easy to find, and I am elated that I was able to be a witness in 2019.
If you want a good time at the movies, nothing extra, nothing big; just a message and a story…
See this film. You won't regret it.