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248 Ratings

To Sleep with Anger

Directed by Charles Burnett
United States, 1990


Witnessing how the generational disputes between the family patriarch, his wife and their two married sons become amplified when an unexpected visitor drops in… Enter Harry, a smiling charmer from the old days in the Deep South.

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To Sleep with Anger Directed by Charles Burnett

Awards & Festivals

Cannes Film Festival

1990 | Directors' Fortnight

Sundance Film Festival

1990 | 2 wins including: Dramatic (Special Jury Recognition)

Independent Spirit Awards

1991 | 4 wins including: Best Director

1991 | 3 nominations including: Best Feature

To Sleep With Anger is foremost a film dedicated to capturing the nuances of real-world intimacy. “Why don’t you shut the door and come on over here?” Gideon, smiling wide and patting the bed, says to Suzie. She stares at him silently and exits the room to tend to their grandson — but softens her rebuff with a knowing wink. This brief scene communicates, better than many films devoted solely to the subject, the delights and disappointments of enduring unions.
September 07, 2016
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Burnett sketches the details of the lives of Gideon and his family, bridging theatrical dialogue, portentous omens, and presentational acting with a grace that’s so masterful as to appear effortless, capturing enough life and subtext for several films.
September 06, 2016
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Burnett maintains a gentle, ingratiating surface tone (rooted in a sense of deep affection for all his characters, no matter how small) while hashing out a variety of complex subjects—such as black social mobility and certain urban African-Americans’ alienation from cultural traditions—and subtly introducing an air of dread. And Danny Glover, who plays Harry, has never been better.
August 26, 2016
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