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A Series of Unfortunate Events (2004)

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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(screenplay), (books) (as Lemony Snicket)
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 9 wins & 27 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

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

17 December 2004 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Series of Unfortunate Events  »

Box Office

Budget:

$140,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$1,575,442 (Australia) (17 December 2004)

Gross:

$118,627,117 (USA) (24 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

Cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki chose a specific color palette backdrop for the major locations in the film:
  • Cout Olaf's house (The Bad Beginning) uses green, black and gray
  • Uncle Monty's house (The Reptile Room) uses green, brown and yellow
  • Aunt Josephine's House (The Wide Window) uses blue and black.
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

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 voiceover is heard saying that unfortunately, this isn't the film you are about to see. "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 »

Connections

References The Phantom of the Opera (1925) See more »

Soundtracks

Hungarian Dance #5
(uncredited)
Written by Johannes Brahms
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Dark but compelling fantasy adventure
1 January 2005 | by (Sheffield, UK) – See all my reviews

Having read none of the Lemony Snickett books, I was unsure of what to expect from this film.

The film begins with a gentle introduction that quickly turns into a humorous, but noteworthy, disclaimer that the following film has dark underlying themes. The main characters are introduced (the three children) and almost instantly we are subjected to the news of the first in a series, or unfortunate events. The film is fast paced and sends the children from one unfortunate situation to another, with Jude Law doing a splendid job of narrating the story along the way. The children a likable and resourceful characters with good chemistry between the actors. You genuinely feel they care about each other and have a great desire to help each other out of these incredible situations.

The real star of the show of course is Jim Carrey. This film provides the perfect platform for Mr Carrey to do what he does best, goof around and play over the top and outlandish characters. In this role Jim Carrey excels, never goofing off to much to undermine the credibility of the character, but being suitably over the top to convey the eccentric old count.

Visually, the film is stunning, the sets look straight out of a Tim Burton film, the costumes are fantastic, the direction is splendid and does a fine job of progressing the story. The visual effects are tremendous and fit in with the tale perfectly, never distracting nor undermining.

This film is quite dark for a children's film, but not dark in a sinister way, but dark in a spooky hallowe'en sort of way that kids love. Watching the film reminded me of reading Rhoal Dahl books as a child, with the over the top characters and out of this world situations.

The plot of the film is fast paced, but contains good character development and plenty of action and adventure. I would recommend this film to children and adults alike.


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