The Peanut Butter Falcon is a delightful buddy movie that plucks on your heartstrings

Anyone who remembers Huckleberry Finn fondly will find much to love in The Peanut Butter Falcon. Set in the North Carolina Outer Banks, this delightful buddy movie is a film that plucks on your heartstrings in a way that leave you quietly contemplative for days afterwards.

In the central role of Zak is newcomer Zack Gottsagen. Gottsagen is a young man with Down’s syndrome, and writer-directors Tyler Nilson and Mike Schwartz wrote the role specifically for him.  Zak breaks out of his care home to attend the wrestling school of his hero, the Salt Water Redneck, hotly pursued by well-meaning Eleanor (winningly portrayed by Dakota Johnson). Eleanor underestimates him, just like everyone else, so it’s left to a raw and deeply sad Tyler, a tremendous performance from Shia LaBeouf, to accept Zak as he is and not patronise him for it.

Regular Corn Hall film lovers may remember Beasts of the Southern Wild.  Nilson and Schwartz evoke a similar sense of place that is beautifully complemented by Nigel Bluck’s cinematography. This is a film about a world apart, with its own idiosyncratic moral code and unique way of enforcing it. How that plays out keeps the audience gripped to the end.