Home Video Picks & Passes 08.16.20

An endearing celebration of human dignity and solidarity is a ‘pick.’

The Peanut Butter Falcon
The Peanut Butter Falcon )

The Peanut Butter Falcon (2019) — PICK

Tender Mercies (1983) — PICK

Now streaming on Amazon Prime, The Peanut Butter Falcon is an endearing celebration of human dignity and solidarity with a unique hook: One of the two main characters, Zak, has Down syndrome and is played by an actor, Zack Gottsagen, who really does have Down syndrome.

So the film follows Zak as he escapes from an assisted-living facility and sets out to meet his hero, a professional wrestler, with help from a down-and-out Shia LaBeouf, but Zak’s challenges and triumphs are mirrored by Zack’s in making the film.

A new Blu-Ray special edition is a perfect occasion to check out Robert Duvall’s Academy Award-winning turn in the excellent faith-inflected drama Tender Mercies, from director Bruce Beresford (Black Robe) and writer Horton Foote (To Kill a Mockingbird).

Robert Duvall plays a troubled, once-famous country singer named Mac who takes a job at a Texas motel and gas station in exchange for a room and winds up falling in love with the owner, a young widow named Rosa Lee (Tess Harper).

Among other things, the film excels in its depiction of the transforming power of Rosa’s devout faith, the renewal symbolized and effected in baptism, and the unmerited grace that, for many of us, lies in whatever happiness we have in this life.


CAVEAT SPECTATOR: The Peanut Butter Falcon: Brief partial nudity (nonsexual); much crude language and some profanity and cursing. Older teens and up. Tender Mercies: Occasional cursing; references to alcoholism. Tweens and up.