Cinematic Releases: One From The Heart - The Peanut Butter Falcon (2019) - Reviewed

Sweetness enters the summer box office with a beautiful new full length feature from a pair of directors that cut their teeth on indie shorts. 

Shia LeBeouf and newcomer Zack Gottsagen star in the mismatched buddy film, The Peanut Butter Falcon, easily one of the best and most heartwarming projects of 2019. Get the tissue prepped, because this one is going to rip the heartstrings right out of your chest. Come Oscar time, this might be a potential Oscar contender for both its male leads. LeBeouf further proves his cred as an indie star while Gottsagen enters the field as a terrific lead player. 

Loosely based on Zack's real lifelong dream of becoming a professional wrestler, the two actors share a delightful bit of light escapism in a reality based drama that's laced with comedic elements and the will to succeed. Directed by Tyler Nilson and Mike Schwartz, cinema goers are in for a real treat as the two  actors share an adventure across Georgia looking for acceptance, friendship, love and the partnership they both need to survive. Like an updated Mark Twain tale, the two venture across land and water to hopefully escape their current predicaments as John Hawkes once again plays the heavy, trying to settle the score with Shia's character Tyler. While there are some tense moments here, this is one you can definitely share with the family, something that's mostly missing from the movies these days. Dakota Johnson also stars as part of the trio, never quite hitting the high notes as the other two, but still expands on her dynamic resume with a powerful performance. 

Aim for the Transformers franchise. 

Their charismatic pairing sets them off on a search to find the mysterious wrestler, the Saltwater Redneck. In their quest, Gottsagen ultimately proves that down syndrome is not a handicap, but just a minor setback that seems to drive him forward. His character Zak is a dreamer that is ambitious to the core. Nothing will stop him from finding what he seeks:  a best friend and an education in big time pro wresting. Knowing the duality of the onscreen Zak and the offscreen Zack, this motion picture is a wonder that shows us that if we set our mind to something, we can succeed. 

Together they find happiness, humor, and a friendship meant to last the ages. Seeing LeBeouf continue to rise above the internet savagery that continues to follow him shows just what a huge talent he is. The man is one of the best actors working today. Escaping the realm of massive big budget blockbusters was the best thing for his career. The Peanut Butter Falcon curbs him back down the independent path that he wandered with American Honey, but gives him much more room to stretch his legs. 

And Zack shows that you can't hold a good man down, despite any of the odds stacked against him. This is one of those movies that just feels good to experience. The light outshines the darkness as an original story finds its way to cinemas when so many massive franchise films try to shut them out. If you have a chance, this is one of the must see films of 2019. I'll be seeing it again and sharing it with my family. 

-Chris George