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To Sleep with Anger

Where to Watch To Sleep with Anger


To Sleep with Anger is a 1990 movie that features an array of talented stars including Danny Glover, Paul Butler, and DeVaughn Nixon. Directed by independent film pioneer, Charles Burnett, the movie is a brilliant fusion of drama and family dynamics, soaked in heavy thematic elements, enchanting narrative layers, and arresting performances.

The multi-layered narrative primarily focuses on the lives of the rural, Southern transplants to urban Los Angeles - the family of Gideon (Paul Butler) and Suzie (Mary Alice). The relative calm and orderliness of their lives are disrupted by the sudden, unannounced arrival of an old acquaintance – Harry (Danny Glover), who hails from the deep South where Gideon and Suzie had originated.

Harry's arrival catches the audience's interest in the film's opening sequences. As portrayed remarkably by Danny Glover, Harry manifests as a smooth-talking, seemingly harmless old friend from back home. He slowly uncoils to reveal a more peculiar character influenced by the superstitions and folk traditions of the old South. The character's whimsical and charming exterior cloaks a malevolent presence that creates tension within the narrative.

Gideon and Suzie's nuclear family includes their adult sons (Junior and Baby Brother) and their families. While there are underlying tensions between the brothers, the family still projects a wholesome and content image. As Harry's influence grows, however, the audience is treated to an escalating landscape of familial discord and unraveling relationships.

The complex character of Harry as portrayed by Danny Glover is absolutely riveting. His character serves as an unexpected catalyst that shakes the very foundations of Gideon’s family, revealing deep-seated issues and differences between family members. His enigmatic nature and increasingly ominous presence establish and maintain the film's suspenseful atmosphere.

Paul Butler, as Gideon, gives a compelling performance as the patriarch of the family who has retained his religious virtues and old Southern values despite the challenges of urban living. His wife, Suzie, played by Mary Alice, provides a tender yet solid presence as the matriarch. Their adult sons, including DeVaughn Nixon, bring further depth into their roles, portraying the complexities of their individual characters remarkably well.

The film is not merely a tale of family upheaval; it’s a fascinating exploration of cultural dislocation and the evocative power of tradition. The use of subtle and sometimes undecipherable symbols, folktales, and superstitions help to color tales of family, displacement, and the duality of good and evil, making it a unique and cathartic viewing experience.

Visually, To Sleep with Anger is a spectacle in itself. The cinematographer, Walt Lloyd, does an incredible job capturing the essence of the story, with impeccable crafting of inner-city landscapes and intimate family settings. The warmth and richness of the visuals amplify the narrative's depth, making it even more fascinating and intense.

Beyond visual aesthetics, the film is marked by strong stylistic elements of storytelling. Charles Burnett's direction strikes a balance between melodramatic tendencies and a near-surrealistic portrayal of a family’s encounter with their past. The impeccable writing and Burnett's sure-handed storytelling ensure that each character is well developed, entangled in a captivating mix of mystique and realistic family-drama elements.

The music of To Sleep with Anger also plays a crucial role. Combining traditional southern blues with gospel and contemporary jazz, the score by Stephen James Taylor offers a haunting and evocative backdrop which complements the drama’s captivating storytelling.

To Sleep with Anger remains a significant contribution to cinema, not just for its remarkable performances, but for the way it blends familiar themes of family and spirituality with elements of folklore and magic realism - an unique and enchanting cinematic concoction.

All in all, To Sleep with Anger is a powerful, nuanced exploration of family dynamics, cultural traditions, and the haunting effects of the past. Supported by outstanding performances and guided by a compelling narrative, this is a must-watch for anyone who appreciates character-driven plots and a fusion of reality with elements of the mystical and tradition.

To Sleep with Anger is a Drama movie released in 1990. It has a runtime of 102 minutes. Critics and viewers have rated it moderate reviews, with an IMDb score of 7.2..

How to Watch To Sleep with Anger

Where can I stream To Sleep with Anger movie online? To Sleep with Anger is available to watch and stream, buy on demand, download at Amazon Prime, Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play, YouTube VOD, Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent To Sleep with Anger for a limited time or purchase the movie for downloading.

Charles Burnett
Danny Glover, Richard Brooks, Paul Butler, Mary Alice
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