What a blessing to finish out Black History Month watching Charles Burnett’s To Sleep with Anger.
In my own brain space, when I think of Danny Glover, I think of a grouchy old codger who habitually remarks to anyone in earshot, whether or not they ask, that he’s too old for “this shit,” whatever “this shit” may entail. Usually it’s police work, which, in the context of the Lethal Weapon films, is like babysitting a suicidal ADHD child who’s packing a bazooka. So we always sympathize with Murtaugh’s exasperation, and we never wonder why he’s such a bear.
But that’s Lethal Weapon Glover. To Sleep with Anger Glover is much more complex. One moment he’s a shark trawling for prey. The next he’s acting out his superstitions, spitting all over the bristles of a broom. He’s basically the Big Bad Wolf, a charmer with teeth for biting anybody he feels are either deserving or worthy. In other words, he’s great; this movie is great; this is his best performance.
I have much more to say about the film than that in this month’s Criterion round-up, and my colleagues in boutique Blu-ray reviewing have words on new additions from Visconti, Bergman, and Clouzot.
You can read the entire article over at Paste Magazine.