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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.

Director:

Brad Silberling

Writers:

Robert Gordon (screenplay), Daniel Handler (books) (as Lemony Snicket)
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Popularity
1,109 ( 488)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 9 wins & 27 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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
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Storyline

Three children - Violet (14), Klaus (12) 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:

Mishaps. Mayhem. Misadventures. Oh joy. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA | Germany

Language:

English

Release Date:

17 December 2004 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Series of Unfortunate Events See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$140,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$30,061,756, 19 December 2004, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$118,627,117, 24 April 2005

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$209,073,645
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital EX | DTS-ES

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Director Brad Silberling admitted in the director's commentary that in some scenes the stand-ins for Kara and Shelby Hoffman, the Knight babies, often appeared on camera instead of the original twins (but with their faces covered slightly). See more »

Goofs

When the children are sailing to Curdled Cave, their boat has a rudder. When they are leaving with Aunt Josephine, the boat has no rudder. 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...
See more »

Crazy Credits

Person of indeterminate gender - Craig Ferguson See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Simpsons: The Bonfire of the Manatees (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Loverly Spring
By Thomas Newman and Bill Bernstein
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User Reviews

 
Yummm...lemony...and snickety, too!
23 December 2004 | by LCShackleySee all my reviews

First of all, let me go on record saying that I think this is a wonderfully entertaining film. The sets and costumes are perfect; even the little details like the odd instruments on the car dashboard were carefully thought through for their effect. Jim Carrey is perfect as Count Olaf and his disguises, partially because he has always been adept at creating convincing odd characters with his flexible face and voice. The kids were likable, even the cute baby. Thomas Newman's score is a quirky mix that's just right for the film. (I want to ask him if there's a reason why one of his themes sounds like "We Three Kings" gone awry.) I'm writing this comment primarily to respond to the wacky criticisms of LEMONY that I've been reading here on IMDb. Most fall into two categories: 1) people who don't "get" the movie and haven't read the books (and therefore are offended by its dark tone), or 2) adolescents who are obsessed with the books and are disappointed that their little dreams of how the movie should be haven't been perfectly realized (e.g., "the boy doesn't have glasses, so this movie stinks").

Let me address the second group. WAKE UP!! The Lemony Snicket books are a pre-packaged, heavily-marketed series that was deliberately created to appeal to your age group...the Harry Potterites. Unlike the history of J. Rowling and the Potter books, the Snicket books were the result of some money-mad marketing guru coming up with the idea and finding a writer to execute it.

The Snicket series is not "classic children's literature," although I must say that the actual author has done a fun job with the idea (yes, I have read several of the books, in case you're wondering). One Snicket book does NOT equal one Potter book in length or quality; therefore it's perfectly suitable that they put three Snickets together for this movie. The little gimmicks that made the early books amusing (the author's asides to define words, the translations of the baby's gurgles) become tediously annoying tics in the later books. And if you're going to have a tantrum because someone's hair isn't the color you imagined, or an actor is taller than you thought he should be, WELCOME TO THE REAL WORLD of movie adaptations! Perhaps if someone took liberties with Jane Austen, Dickens, or Tolstoy, it would be worth getting upset...but this is LEMONY SNICKET, for crying out loud! Read some real books for a change; not just cynically contrived kiddie lit designed to make big bucks with marketing deals and product tie-ins.

And to the first group I say...lighten up and read a couple of the Snicket books before you lament about the "dark tone," or the abuse of children, etc., etc. It's part of the joke, and one of the aspects of the books that the producers did a good job conveying on screen. In fact, the movie even softened the tone a bit with the touching flashbacks about the missing parents, building a "sanctuary," etc.

And what's with the wonderful, yet thrown-away closing credits? Seems to me these were made for the opening, but they realized that they would conflict with the "faux" Elf movie that starts the film. As someone else said, this is one of the most delightful parts of the film, but my son and I were the only ones who stayed to watch! DON'T LEAVE THE THEATER 'TIL IT'S OVER!


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