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A Series of Unfortunate Events (2004)

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When a massive fire kills their parents, three children are delivered to the custody of cousin and stage actor Count Olaf, who is secretly plotting to steal their parents' vast fortune.

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Writers:

(screenplay), (books) (as Lemony Snicket)
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1,028 ( 12)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 9 wins & 25 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Lemony Snicket (voice)
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Bald Man (as Luis Guzman)
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Storyline

Three children - Violet, Klaus and Sunny Baudelaire - are left orphaned when their house burns down, with their parents in it, in mysterious circumstances. They are left in the custody of a distant relative, Count Olaf (played by Jim Carrey). It is soon apparent that Count Olaf only cares about the children for their large inheritance. Written by grantss

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Ruinning Christmas December 17. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for thematic elements, scary situations and brief language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

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Country:

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Language:

Release Date:

17 December 2004 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Series of Unfortunate Events  »

Box Office

Budget:

$140,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£2,210,979 (UK) (17 December 2004)

Gross:

$118,627,117 (USA) (22 April 2005)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Tim Burton was attached to direct at some point, with Johnny Depp playing Count Olaf and Glenn Close playing Aunt Josephine. When Tim Burton left the project, Johnny Depp left as well. Brad Silberling replaced Glenn Close, feeling that Meryl Streep would be better for the role. Streep accepted the role of Aunt Josephine upon the request of her daughter, a huge fan of the books. See more »

Goofs

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. See more »

Quotes

[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, suspicious fires, carnivorous leeches, Italian food and secret organizations, then stay, as I retrace each and every one...
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Crazy Credits

The film begins as if it is a stop-motion animated film which calls itself "The Littlest Elf". After thirty seconds of action, everything stops, the set goes dark, and Lemony Snicket's voice-over sounds, saying that unfortunately, this isn't the film you are about to see. If you want to turn away from this movie and watch a film about a happy little elf, there's going to be a showing playing in theater two. If you're into seeing movies with an unhappy ending, attractive children, and terrifying people, with suspicious fires, secret organizations and Italian food, then you're in the right show. "The Littlest Elf" is the only title shown onscreen during the opening credits. As Snicket is doing his voiceover, the scene changes to a person walking through a foggy graveyard. See more »


Soundtracks

Hungarian Dance #5
(uncredited)
Written by Johannes Brahms
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A frightfully frenetic and beautifully tragic children's film
17 December 2004 | by (WASHINGTON DC) – See all my reviews

First, let it be declared that in the media of movie, it is a downright shock that Nickelodeon's monicker appears in this film. It is by far, the best film they have ever made. Second, it is probably the only movie you will see made for children (supposedly) and containing a claymation elf holding a rifle.

Second, let it be known that this movie is the most visually pleasing children's (live-action) film any of us will see for years. The costume design is amazing, from the strap-laden sunny to the neo-Gothic formality of Violet, and especially in the under-appreciated and subtle '60s formal-casual of Klaus, who looks like a miniature Harold from "Harold and Maude". The sets are equally beautiful, a spree of Burtonesque Gothic-Modern Post-Industrial Asymmetry, from the half formed carnage of The burnt Baudelaire Mansion to the perfectly executed closing credits, animated to perfection. Cinematography also plays an amazing roll on the parts of Violet and Klaus, where ingenious images are used to insert the audience into the minds of the genius Baudelaires.

Last, the performances, only two that everyone has't heard; Jude Law's perfect narration, and The Hoffman Twins astonishing performance as Sunny. Law's performance is so on target that it never occurs that this voice is not the elusive and enigmatic pseudonym himself. He is the perfect compliment to the often exciting or disturbing actions being inflicted upon the accurately charming and intelligent Baudelaires. as for Sunny, they have performed the impossible in giving a perfect performance to an infant from an infant, in both the physical acting and the ingenious form of translation. The sequels are sure to be the greatest of series, even if the events be unfortunate as they have been.

As an artist, this reviewer cannot help but give this movie a 10/10. It is his deep desire that you appreciate it as much as he, if not, well... ... that is rather... ... unfortunate.


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