December 12, 1997 at 05:00 AM EST

Al Fountain (John Turturro), repressed nerd, chances upon a coonskin-capped flake named The Kid (Basquiat‘s Sam Rockwell) and embarks on a program of self-liberation — which in this case consists of lighting fireworks, eating cookies, bar-brawling (with Dermot Mulroney), and hussy-humping (with Catherine Keener). If compelled by ill fate or false friend to watch the shapeless Box of Moonlight, plug your ears against the carpe diem twaddle and faux-Thoreauvian postulates — ”Life is a tomato right off the vine” — and drink in the Tennessee landscapes: The flora here outclasses the tiresome indie-film fauna. D+

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