Like a young child getting into reading, I think it's safe to say that Wes Anderson has caught the Roald Dahl bug. Anderson's adaptation of Fantastic Mr. Fox is on Netflix already and is well ... fantastic, with a 93% on Rotten Tomatoes.
Anderson, the visionary director behind some of the best movies in modern cinema (go and watch The Royal Tenanbaums right now) is known for his quirky sense of humour and unique cinematic style. He is bringing that once again to a Roald Dahl tale, a lesser-known short story. The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar is coming to Netflix on September 20th.
This adaptation for one of the best streaming services has gone down a treat with critics, landing a perfect 100% Rotten Tomatoes rating. No doubt Anderson, with his love of symmetry, would have preferred an 88% score but you can't complain.
A brisk 39-minute film, Benedict Cumberbatch stars as the title character, a gambler who discovers an otherworldly power that could help him cheat his way to a fortune. For a short(ish) movie, there is an all-star cast with Dev Patel, Ralph Fiennes, Sir Ben Kingsley and Richard Ayoade (AKA Moss from The IT Crowd) in supporting roles.
It's great to see streaming services like Netflix give artists a chance to create less commercially viable but creatively fulfilling work. This is a short film that it would be difficult to sell tickets for in theatres, but audiences watching at home can have a great time and Netflix gets the prestige of having a Wes Anderson original.
If you're looking for a famous director leading something really off the wall, then try David Lynch's What Did Jack Do? A 17-minute fever dream where the Twin Peaks creator stars as a detective interviewing a murder suspect, who just so happens to be a monkey. It's also on Netflix and I guarantee you won't have seen anything like it.