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Netflix's new movie with Wes Anderson is your must-watch of the week

Even if Asteroid City rubbed you the wrong way, you need to check this out...

Netflix's new movie with Wes Anderson is your must-watch of the week
Andrew Williams
27 September 2023

After Asteroid City created rifts among reviewers, Wes Anderson’s latest is picking up rave write-ups across the board.

This one is a little different, though, which is why you may be surprised to even learn of a new Wes Anderson film.

The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar is a short film, clocking in at a rather televisual 39 minutes.

This Netflix-produced film is an adaptation of a Roald Dahl short-ish story. The book itself, The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar And Six More, contains the story of the title, plus — you guessed it — six others.

Anderson is working on a series of these shorter films too, with an additional three on the way. These are The Swan, The Rat Catcher and Poison, all due on Netflix this week.

The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar reviews

For now, though, it’s all eyes on The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar, which currently rides at 96% on Rotten Tomatoes, with only a lone “rotten” review. And even that is a 3/5. Hardly a drubbing, and a score often labelled "fresh" by the site.

Empire says Anderson and Dahl are a “match made in heaven.”

The Daily Beast calls The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar a “mini-masterpiece” and one of Anderson’s “best works.” “It’s a short that’s so ingenious and amusing that one almost wishes it wasn’t also quite so compact and self-contained,” says reviewer Nick Schager.

The Times’s Kevin Maher, who can at times fling out a grumpy-sounding appraisal of films, calls the short a "perfectly precise blast of finest Anderson.”

Several of the Asteroid City reviews we saw seemed to suggest the sheer Anderson-ness of Asteroid City wore thin, was too self-referential for its own good. But none of that seems to apply to The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar.

It’s a story in which a man seeks to learn to see without using his eyes, in order to make a fortune at gambling. Benedict Cumberbatch plays Henry Sugar, while the ensemble is littered with Anderson favourites.

The cast list includes Ralph Fiennes and Ben Kingsley, alongside Richard Ayoade, Dev Patel and Rupert Friend.

We don’t have long to wait for the other Anderson shorts to appear either. The Swan is out on September 28, The Rat Catcher on September 29 and Poison on September 30.

If they all turn out as strong as The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar, we could be looking at the strongest run of reviews for Anderson in a decade. All of these Roald Dahl short-er films will be available on Netflix.