I don’t recall the last time that the personalities of both the writer and the director shone so clearly. Maybe Fincher and Sorkin in The Social Network, but that’s clearly different, given that The Social Network is not an adaptation. I’ve always thought of Anderson as a man who tells sad stories, but somehow finds a way to make me happy as an audience member. This makes him a good fit for the grim, but still somewhat cheery, Dahl stories he selected.

Henry Sugar is not quite as grim as the others. Having finished them all, it appears to me that Henry Sugar is the best of the new Wes Anderson shorts on Netflix. Even so, Anderson takes so much joy in the staging of the first half (ever the theatre kid) that the second half feels like lost its way a bit. I’m not sure Anderson got to the heart of Henry Sugar as a person, who he paints with Dickensian styling. Perhaps Henry Sugar is too saccharine, even for Anderson’s sweet tooth. But I think he understood the Man Who Sees Without Using His Eyes perfectly.

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