"It's like Christmas with guns," is how one happy member of the Soady family describes the opening day of hunting season. Rueben Soady (Jeff Daniels) is on the verge of becoming the oldest member of the entire line of Soady men to have never shot a buck. To change his luck, Rueben tries to convince his father and brother to change some of the time-honored rituals of their annual hunting pilgrimage, but this seems to set off a series of uncanny incidents involving UFOs, cards, backwoods whiskey, flatulence, and possession by native spirits. Escanaba in da Moonlight is a comic homage to hunting in upstate Michigan, written and directed by star Daniels. It's not for everyone--vegetarians, among others, will find its blithe celebration of deer hunting repugnant--but venison eaters may find Escanaba's offbeat Midwest humor entertaining. --Bret Fetzer
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