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Box of Moonlight Reviews

Ambling and amiable, Tom DiCillo's third feature is a warm and hazy comedy whose gentle surface belies a streak of purely American pessimism. Al Fountain (John Turturro) is an uptight, strictly by the book electrical engineer who's supervising an out-of-town construction site. When the project is unexpectedly canceled just before the Fourth of July, Al decides to postpone the trip back home to his wife and son in order to revisit the lake where, as a child, he once spent an idyllic summer vacation. But what begins as a sentimental journey becomes a side trip into the bizarre when he hooks up with the Kid (Sam Rockwell), a flesh and blood Peter Pan by way of James Fenimore Cooper. Clad in deerskins and a Davy Crockett coonskin cap, the Kid thinks he's "living off the grid," deep in the woods and far from government interference, scraping together what little money he has by selling stolen lawn ornaments. Al and Buck couldn't be any more different in their approaches to life, but when Al's car keys mysteriously go missing, his initial aggravation soon gives way to an unwillingness to return to the responsibilities of his adult life. Like Al, this circuitous film takes its own sweet time in getting to where it's going, but it's worth the trip. Filled with its own quirky humor, it's a film of surprising complexity, ultimately suggesting that in order to fulfill the American dream, one must ultimately betray the very ideals -- notably those of personal freedom and the active pursuit of happiness -- that we think we hold sacred.