To Sleep with Anger
Reviewed in February 2010
Director: Charles Burnett. Cast: Danny Glover, Paul Butler, Mary Alice, Richard Brooks, Sheryl Lee Ralph, Carl Lumbly, Vonetta McGee, Ethel Ayler, DeVaughn Nixon, Reina King, Davis Roberts, Wonderful Smith. Screenplay: Charles Burnett.

Photo © 1990 SVS Films/The Samuel Goldwyn Company
exec prods incl Edward R. Pressman & D Glover; man in white at table: fruit bowl and then white shoes begin to catch sponteanous fire; Mary Alice leading a multiethnic Le Mans class in her living room; your brother and his wife taking advantage of us; "Suzie, why'on't you shut that door, and uh, come over here"; MA: Junior, everybody got the same (breast-fed them both equally); "Gideon... you really are not TELLING him stories like THAT" - ceramic bowl crashing spont to the floor; DG received ecstatically, though DG freaks out immediately that it's "bad luck to touch a fellow with a broom"; this VHS is just so dark; won't sleep on spring mattresses, only on floor pallet; Junior's wife Pat gets a kick from her gestating infant upon meeting Harry; (SLR real estate marr. to loan officer Babe); DG pulls out enormous knife to pick at his fingernails, with a rabbit's foot at the end of the handle; "I had my baby at Cedars-Sinai, and that aint' no county hospital"; SLR: "Junior's wife kept her afterbirth in the refrig, and htat's why I don't go over there no more"; Homeless & hungry: DG to VM: "You ever heard of a man diving into a river to save 500 drowning people?"; more of that CB natural light and modest exteriors; DG to Babe: "Some folks, deep down, attracted to pain and suffering - they looove to be near the dying"; he's pretty offended; Hattie (EA): used to sing and entertain, "when you weren't saved" - when the Natchez Trace was just a dirt road; EA: "Harry, you know you remind me so much of things that went wrong in my life"; he's Pushkin-quoting; EA: "You aint' worht the salt you put in greens"; At the party: "Is that real corn liquor?" / "It idn't Geritol"; Babe ca'nt handle comps to Junior, "If you really care about me, just teach me how to make money"; Dissolve-flashback memories of RR track-layers; Susie attempts superstitious cures for Gideon instead of prayer, to the neighborhood's consternation; Ralph falling apart as she cuts and serves a cake in errant, huge chunks; Okra makes a conditional proposal in the event of Gideon's death; MA: "Excuse me (rising) - I have to go feed my dog"; MA: "I have to know who is in my house" - "Are you a friend, Harry?"; DG - never treat a woman as an equal, have many, "You don't drive around without no spare tire, do you"; Why's the hospital crowded? Nurse: "Well, its Friday night, it is a full moon"; MA sees the brothers getting along again, even as she waits for hosp attn to her hand; Gideon walks downstairs, and the family is agog, but the preacher, et al, just keep on eating at first; dark interior lighting; quick earthquake; Virginia: "I know you haven't had a chance to cook or do ANYthing with that dead man in your kitchen"; B+

Sundance Film Festival: Special Jury Prize, Dramatic (Burnett)
Independent Spirit Awards: Best Director; Best Actor (Glover); Best Supporting Actress (Ralph); Best Screenplay
National Society of Film Critics: Best Screenplay

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