At some point before watching a movie months and months ago a trailer for The Peanut Butter Falcon played and, well, they had me at peanut butter. I’m just being honest. As the trailer went, I was more and more into it. The synopsis as it showed in the trailer wasn’t about some specific huge dramatic event, but just showing bits and pieces of the journey the characters were on. Here’s the trailer.
The movie stars Zack Gottsagen, Shia LaBeouf, and Dakota Johnson.
What an adventure they went on. Having a Down Syndrome sister, I’m always curious how the acting will be with a Down Syndrome actor. I’ll explain. When I talk with my sister, there are certain natural ways she’ll respond and react. Just like everyone actually haha So when an actor has lines in a movie, the writers job (and the actors) is to make that character seem as real as real life, does that make sense? It’s not Leonardo DiCaprio playing a poor boy who snuck onto the Titanic, we’re watching Jack on the adventure of his life.
So when Zack is performing in this movie, will it be the way a person with Down syndrome would naturally respond, or did it come across as reading lines? That’s something else I think when I see kid actors in movies or on TV. Sometimes you can tell the lines are written by adults because kids would never say the things they end up having to say as scripted. Well, after watching, Zack did an amazing job! It was fun to follow along with his adventure in the movie. There were moments I was laughing, cheering, and even my heart breaking when he was delivering his lines, it was truly great!
Then there’s Shia LaBeouf. I’ve been a fan since “Even Stevens” on the Disney Channel way back when. He’s definitely one of my favorite actors and in this movie, he didn’t disappoint. Same with Zack, there are certain ways people will react to things in real life, and it’s a director/writer/actor’s job to capture that in an acting role. For Shia, he’s just so darn believable. He reacts the way a person in real life would react and I love that about him. Check the trailer at 1:58 and notice Shia’s reaction to what Zack was doing. I guarantee you the script didn’t say- “bounce up and down slightly,” but Shia reacts how most people would in that situation. It’s just so real and natural. There are a few scenes where he, Zack, and Dakota are floating on a raft and the conversations were like they didn’t rehearse at all. It was just 3 people talking who happened to be part of a movie. I hope that makes sense! Shia has always acted that way, it’s why I liked him in Even Stevens.
So the acting is great, including Dakota who played the more straight, strict character. The movie overall is one you need to see. Note that there is some language so it’s not best suited for young kids, but the message is fantastic and heartwarming, down to the very last scene which I really want to mention, but I won’t. Just rent it or get it from the library or stream it or whatever you need to do to watch it. Afterwards, let me know what you think.
I’m off to get a spoonful of peanut butter, thanks for stopping by!
-Out of the Wilderness