Wes Anderson Finally Won His First Oscar and He Wasn’t Even There

Estimated read time 3 min read

The Big Picture

  • Wes Anderson finally won his first Oscar with
    The Wonderful Life of Henry Sugar
    at the 2024 Academy Awards.
  • The short film stars Benedict Cumberbatch in a mystical tale of a man who can see without his eyes.
  • Anderson’s adaptation of Roald Dahl’s story is a hit, showcasing his unique directorial touches on Netflix.

In the span of 22 years, Wes Anderson has garnered eight Oscar nominations, and only now, has grabbed his first win, which came this Sunday evening at the 2024 Academy Awards. Anderson won for his short film, The Wonderful Life of Henry Sugar. For the many admirers of Anderson — a filmmaker known for his creativity and popularity — winning his inaugural Academy Award for a short film seems almost fitting for a man who doesn’t like to fit in. The one issue of the night? He wasn’t even there to receive the award!

In addition to his nomination and win for The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar, Anderson has previously been nominated for seven Oscars: Best Original Screenplay for The Royal Tenenbaums, Moonrise Kingdom, and The Grand Budapest Hotel; Best Animated Picture for Fantastic Mr. Fox and Isle of Dogs; and Best Picture and Best Director for The Grand Budapest Hotel.

What Is ‘The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar’ About?

wonderful-story-of-henry-sugar-benedict-cumberbatch-social-feature Image via Netflix

Benedict Cumberbatch stars as the lead character, alongside Ralph Fiennes, Dev Patel, Ben Kingsley, Richard Ayoade, David Gant, and Jarvis Cocker. The short film revolves around Henry Sugar, a wealthy bachelor who discovers the mystical ability to see without using his eyes. After learning about a guru who possesses this extraordinary skill, Henry embarks on a quest to master it himself. He uses this newfound ability to cheat casinos out of their money.

This adaptation of Roald Dahl‘s original work is brought to life with Anderson’s unique directorial touches, presenting the story in a manner that closely follows Dahl’s text while incorporating Anderson’s distinctive structural flourishes. The film is a nearly word-for-word adaptation of the story written by Dahl, which is one of four shorts that Anderson signed up to shoot and produce for Netflix — the others are Poison, The Swan, and The Rat Catcher. In a glowing review, Collider’s Ross Bonaime hailed his work:

“The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar
feels like a project Anderson needed, a way to explore smaller storytelling in a manner that still allows him room to experiment, have fun, and utilize his very specific voice and talents. Anderson takes what could’ve been a trifle and turns it into a treasure, as even in this more compact story, he still brings an inherent grandeur to everything he touches at this point in his career. We already knew Anderson and Dahl were a perfect match, but
The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar
shows us that this might just be what Anderson needs right now as a filmmaker.”

The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar is available to watch on Netflix.

The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar

Chronicles a variety of stories, but the main one follows Henry Sugar, who is able to see through objects and predict the future with the help of a book he stole.

Watch on Netflix