Zack Gottsagen

Why Everyone in the WORLD Needs “The Peanut Butter Falcon”

I’ll get to The Peanut Butter Falcon in a minute, but first I need to tell you about someone I loved.
My Aunt Jo Ann was born with Down Syndrome, so I grew up thinking every family had a celebrated member like her. She was different, yes, but she was also our collective heartbeat. She finished our prayers, decided on restaurants when we went out and Jo Ann always got the best piece of chicken at dinner. She was close to all of us in her own way, which is how I knew Jo Ann wasn’t like the shallow depictions we usually see of someone with Downs. She had loads of friends at the school she attended and dreamed of a family. She had healthy crushes on the dreamboats of her day (like Elvis Presley and William Shatner) but Jo Ann had a dose of salt too and would put you in your place if needed (ask me about the time she called me a “fat pig.”).
Jo Ann died from pneumonia last year and my family aches from the loss like it just happened. I visited her grave two weeks ago and still struggled to accept that she wasn’t waiting elsewhere for us, asking to watch Caddyshack again.
That’s why I can’t review The Peanut Butter Falcon without bias. I watch young Zack Gottsagen onscreen and see the embodiment of everything Jo Ann hoped for. Recognition. Acceptance. And a burning desire to be a part of the world everyone else takes for granted. Continue reading →

Mustang

FREE MOVIE PASSES: See “The Mustang” EARLY & FOR FREE

Admit it. You spend an embarrassing amount of time watching animal videos on social media, don’t you? It’s OK, we all do. My personal favorites are the stories about people who find hope and redemption through animals, which is why I’m pumped about The Mustang. This one (from Executive Producer Robert Redford) is based on a real-life prison equestrian program where the horses and inmates help each other. If The Mustang sounds like your thing, Continue reading →