ITOL 2019 Round-Up: The Peanut Butter Falcon

Year: 2019
Runtime: 97 Minutes
Directors: Tyler Nilson, Michael Schwartz
Writers: Tyler Nilson, Michael Schwartz
Stars: Zack Gottsagen, Shia LaBeouf, Dakota Johnson, Bruce Dern

By Caz Armstrong

“The Peanut Butter Falcon” is one of my top films of all time. I managed to see it twice in the cinema and can’t wait to get the DVD so I can savour it over again. It’s an adventurous escape and a lesson in the power of loving broken people – as well as yourself.

Structurally it’s a straight forward story with two central characters and two antagonists, all with very clear goals. A) Get to the wrestling school and escape life, B) Catch the protagonists.

But underneath there is a deep and loving heart. Each of the main characters feels unlovable and rejected. One is guilt-ridden, prone to pushing people away and impulsive outbursts. The other has had his very being belittled to the point of believing he will always be worthless. They don’t just want to get to a wrestling school, they’re trying to escape a life of loneliness, guilt and feeling unworthy of love.

” The Peanut Butter Falcon” is one of my top films of all time. I managed to see it twice in the cinema and can’t wait to get the DVD so I can savour it over again.

The physical journey they go on is fraught with danger, resourcefulness and adventure. It’s visually and aurally atmospheric too. We’re brought deep into the rustling of the tall corn, the lapping of waters as far as the eye can see, and the crunch of the hard dusty ground under their aching feet.

peanut

The emotional journey is both heartbreaking and heartwarming. To see two broken people be able to lift each other out of hopelessness and into a full life simply by believing in one other gives encouragement that we might also do the same. They truly see each other for the precious humans they are.

The soundtrack is a perfect fit, evoking a simple uncomplicated life. Its warm tones match the surroundings and the colour palette like a glove.

To cap it off we are invited to celebrate those with disabilities and see their emotional stories. While I’d love to see disabled actors on screen without their disability being the focus, the message is incredibly powerful; people with disabilities are not lesser. Their capabilities and capacity for love is often much, much greater than able-bodied and neurotypical people give them credit for.

This film is simple but heartwarming and will nourish your soul.

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