The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar and Wes Anderson.

On September 27th, Wes Anderson (he/him) released a new 40 minute short film on Netflix called The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar. It is based on the Roald Dahl story of the same name. It stars Benedict Cumberbatch (he/him) as Henry Sugar, Ralph Fiennes as Roald Dahl (he/him), and Dev Patel as Dr. Chatterjee (he/him), 

This short is the first of four Roald Dahl adaptations Wes Anderson published with Netflix this week. The next released short was The Swan on the 28th, followed by The Rat Catcher on the 29th, and Poison on the 30th. This is not the first time Wes Anderson has adapted a Roald Dahl story, his 2009 film Fantastic Mr. Fox is also based on the Roald Dahl story. 

When asked in a New York Times interview in preparation for the release of the shorts about his connection to Roald Dahl’s stories, specifically The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar, Wes Anderson said, “I always loved the nested aspect of it. I do these nested things in my movies starting with ‘Grand Budapest,’ but I think it possibly comes from ‘Henry Sugar.’ There seems to be a thread of Roald Dahl in many of Wes Anderson’s works whether they are a direct adaptation or not.

As a giant fan of Wes Anderson’s past work, I was excited to see how the shorts would come out. I thought the shorts were excellent. They have Wes Anderson’s classic style all over them. For new watchers of Wes Anderson’s works the stylism might be a bit much, it may be simpler to start with one of his features like The Grand Budapest Hotel or to check out the feature he released this year Asteroid City. I would recommend against the shorts if actors talking directly to the audience is not a favored quality, it happens quite often throughout. I would give it a 4.5/5.

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