The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar - Wes Anderson, Roald Dahl, Cumberbatch, Netflix

Two Wes Anderson movies in one year? It’s a whimsical feast!

Looks great! Just to set expectations, this is a 40-minute short film.

That’s fantastic. As a lover of short stories, I would love to see more short-ish (40-60 minute) films, which the streaming era should make more viable. That’s plenty of time to explore One Good Idea, without much fluff, and you can also plan for a part two or three if the subject allows for it.

This is minor Dahl, and minor Anderson. Though it is a great deal of fun to see so many very talented people put so much effort into such a trifle. Worth watching just for some of the details, like Ben Kingsley’s facial expression as the casino dealer.

I read the short story years ago, and had forgotten how it turned out. Watching this, it’s a bit of an odd one to use to kick off a Dahl anthology that will be introducing his “adult” stories to a modern audience (there are 3 more episodes coming in the next week, each based on a different Dahl story and directed by Anderson.) These stories generally were thrillers with dark or ironic twist endings - Twilight Zone stories, if you will. (“Lamb to the Slaughter” became a very famous episode of Alfred Hitchcock Presents.) Here the ironic twist at the end is that there’s no ironic twist at the end: it’s Dahl subverting his own tendencies.

I watched these. I quite enjoyed them, especially Henry Sugar. Some of the set design is wonderful, like how Fiennes gets from his front door to his gate without moving, and the levitation trick. It’s super-duper Wes Anderson, but I’m totally on board for that.

And surprise Aoyade!

Five, in fact. I didn’t realize but he did three other Dahl adaptations as shorts that came out with Henry Sugar.

(Though I think they pretty much add up to one movie in overall runtime.)

Try “Last and First Men”; it’s an Icelandic film, sci fi, experimental, with a sort of La Jetee vibe going on. Very slow, very cool.

I’m enjoying Henry Sugar. It’s… Wes Anderson, but despite my determination not to enjoy it because of such, well… darn.

The beginning has a bit of (unintentional, but nothing Wes does is unintentional) ASMR, and within the first four minutes I’m looking up Audio Descriptive movies and thinking about how great it is.

Cool, thanks for the recommendation. The science fiction genre especially lends itself to the One Good Idea structure.