Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events

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Still of Jim Carrey in Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate EventsStill of Timothy Spall, Liam Aiken, Emily Browning and Shelby Hoffman in Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate EventsLeelee Sobieski at event of Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate EventsStill of Jim Carrey, Jane Adams, Jennifer Coolidge and Jamie Harris in Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate EventsStill of Jim Carrey and Meryl Streep in Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate EventsStill of Meryl Streep, Liam Aiken, Emily Browning and Shelby Hoffman in Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events

Three wealthy children's parents are killed in a fire. When they are sent to a distant relative, they find out that he is plotting to kill them and seize their fortune.

Release Year: 2004

Rating: 6.8/10 (75,072 voted)

Critic's Score: 62/100

Director: Brad Silberling

Stars: Jim Carrey, Jude Law, Meryl Streep

Violet, Klaus and Sunny Baudelaire are three intelligent young children who receive terrible news that their parents have died in a fire and have left them an enormous fortune not to be used until the eldest child is of age. When they are sent to live with Count Olaf, a greedy distant relative, they soon learn he is trying to steal their fortune for himself.

Writers: Robert Gordon, Daniel Handler

Jim Carrey - Count Olaf
Liam Aiken - Klaus
Emily Browning - Violet
Kara Hoffman - Sunny
Shelby Hoffman - Sunny
Jude Law - Lemony Snicket (voice)
Timothy Spall - Mr. Poe
Catherine O'Hara - Justice Strauss
Billy Connolly - Uncle Monty
Meryl Streep - Aunt Josephine
Luis Guzmán - Bald Man (as Luis Guzman)
Jamie Harris - Hook-Handed Man
Craig Ferguson - Person of Indeterminate Gender
Jennifer Coolidge - White Faced Woman
Jane Adams - White Faced Woman

Taglines: On December 17, Christmas cheer takes a holiday.


Official Website: Official site | Paramount Pictures - Count Olaf site |

Release Date: 17 December 2004

Filming Locations: Downey Studios - 12214 Lakewood Boulevard, Downey, California, USA

Box Office Details

Budget: $140,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend: $30,061,756 (USA) (19 December 2004) (3620 Screens)

Gross: $209,073,645 (Worldwide)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?

Count Olaf's car is a 1960 Chrysler Imperial Limo.

Continuity: When Aunt Josephine is showing the children her photo album, one shot shows Violet turning the page with the aviation photo directly to the page with the group photo. In the next shots, however, she turns two more pages before coming upon the group picture.

[first lines]
Lemony Snicket: [the Littlest Elf has just come to an abrupt halt] I'm sorry to say that this is not the movie you will be watching. The movie you are about to see is extremely unpleasant. If you wish to see a film about a happy little elf, I'm sure there is still plenty of seating in theatre number two. However, if you like stories about clever and reasonably attractive orphans...

User Review

Much better than expected

Rating: 7/10

In the wake of Harry Potter the popular Lemony Snicket books have been rushed into production and considering the less than promising prospect of Brad Silberling directing and Jim Carrey starring, I didn't really hold out much hope. It turns out that the film is surprisingly good and apart from The Incredibles this was the only big budget Hollywood film I truly enjoyed this year.

Like Harry Potter, the Lemony Snicket books appeal to adults as well as to children but they are darker, funnier and more eccentric, making them more of a cult than the mainstream success of the Harry Potter series.

If you've read the books, you may miss the clever word play and you may feel that the two older children are miscast. Unlike in the books, the boy doesn't come across as particularly brainy and the girl looks just a bit too sexy as Violet, reminiscent of a teenage Anjelina Jolie. Still they are better than some of the child actors in the Harry Potter series.

On a visual level the film is simply stunning. True, some of it is reminiscent of Tim Burton as both Burton and Daniel Handler are strongly influenced by the work of the writer and illustrator Edward Gor ey. The look of the film is a highly stylized mixture of Edwardian times and the 1950's and convincingly brings to life the parallel universe of the books, where death is ever present and where the whole world has conspired to make the Baudelaire children's life a misery.

Folding books two and three into the storyline of the first one, the plot feels episodic but it stays consistently entertaining. Not being a Jim Carrey fan I was worried about his involvement (I still think Richard E. Grant would have been the perfect choice) but he nails and certainly looks the part of evil, failed thespian Count Olaf and thankfully he doesn't end up dominating the film, turning it into the Jim Carrey show.

The section involving Meryl Streep's fearful Aunt Josephine is the best part of the film. Taking place against backdrops reminiscent of Masaki Kobayashi's stylish horror classic Kwaidan, Lake Lachrymose is as beautiful as it is nightmarish.

Make sure to stay for the beautifully animated credit sequence.


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