The spirit of Mark Twain lives on in this effortlessly charming buddy movie about a young man in pursuit of his dreams.
Zak (Zack Gottsagen), a restless 22-year-old with Down's syndrome, is frustrated by the slow pace of life at the nursing home in which he resides. Itching for some excitement, he dreams of becoming a pro wrestler, obsessively re-watching a worn-out VHS tape of his favourite Lycra-clad hero, The Salt Water Redneck. Hatching a plan to meet his idol, Zak makes a break from his geriatric prison, with his worried carer Eleanor (Dakota Johnson) in hot pursuit. Meanwhile, struggling fisherman Tyler (Shia LaBeouf) is on a mission of his own – to escape the clutches of a pair of angry crabbers after unwisely messing with their traps. As fate brings these two accidental fugitives together, so begins the start of an epic journey, and a profound friendship, that will change both of their lives forever.
The first feature from writer-directors Michael Schwartz and Tyler Nilson brims with an infectious sense of adventure impossible not to be swept up in. The ever-impressive LaBeouf and Johnson shine throughout, but this is Gottsagen’s film. Having previously appeared onscreen in the acclaimed documentary Becoming Bulletproof, his acting debut is nothing short of a revelation, guaranteed to stir the heart of even the most steadfast cynic.
- Michael Blyth, BFI London Film Festival
The screening on Sat 2 Nov at midday will be a relaxed screening, providing a space where audiences with autism or other sensory sensitivities can come along with families, groups and carers to enjoy a film experience in a sensory friendly environment. The doors will open 30 mins before the film start time. There will be no ads or trailers with the Sat 2 Nov screening and the film will start promptly at the advertised time.