After Losing Their Home, They Meet a Cousin Who Has Lost His Mind Join the Baudelaires for a Series of Masterpiece of Misadventures
Jim Carrey stars in MBC�s Adventure of the Week, �Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events,� (2004) a film adaptation of the first three books in the popular series of children�s novels.
Jim Carrey stars in MBC�s Adventure of the Week, �Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events,� (2004) a film adaptation of the first three books in the popular series of children�s novels. The series involves the lives of the Baudelaire children, whose parents were killed after an evil cousin secretly set fire to their home in hopes of inheriting a family fortune. In order to receive the children�s inheritance, the wicked cousin claims custody of the kids, and makes numerous attempts to murder them after doing so. British actor Jude Law depicts the novels� author, Lemony Snicket (a pseudonym of writer Daniel Handler), who narrates the film as he composes it on his typewriter, often behind a silhouette.
Although Carrey is given top billing, the film�s three young antagonists are its true stars. The oldest is 14-year-old Violet Baudelaire (Emily Browning), a successful inventor in the making. Next there is her brother, 12-year-old Klaus (Liam Aiken), an intelligent bookworm. Lastly we meet Sunny (Kara & Shelby Hoffman), an infant who speaks a language only his older siblings can understand (though amusing subtitles are provided for viewers). Sunny is equipped with incredibly sharp and tough teeth, allowing her to clamp onto objects such as tables and suspend herself in midair for long periods of time.
Together they are initially placed in the custody of a bank manager named Mr. Poe (Timothy Spall), whose duty is to carry out the parents� wishes as written in their will. A clause in the will stipulates that in case of their mother and father�s death, the children should be left in the care of their closest relative. Unfortunately for the Baudelaire children Mr. Poe misunderstands this clause; rather than releasing the children to their closest relative in lineage, he releases them to their closest relative in proximity: a nasty old man named Count Olaf (Jim Carrey).
Olaf is a fledging and unskilled actor who essentially enslaves the children in his home, forcing them to follow all of his commands, usually entailing nonstop cooking and cleaning. Well aware of the Baudelaire�s vast fortune, and his entitlement to it should anything happen to them, Olaf quickly devises a scheme for their death by parking his dilapidated car on a pair of railroad tracks with the children locked inside. Luckily, his plan backfires and the authorities revoke the evil cousin�s custody, transferring it to their uncle, Dr. Montgomery Montgomery (Billy Connolly).
Uncle Monty is fascinated with reptiles and his exotic, living collection is proof of it. At their uncle�s the children finally believe they have found a stable, loving environment. However Olaf is still obsessed with regaining custody of the Baudelaires and uses his lackluster acting skills to impersonate Uncle Monty�s new assistant. Shortly after convincing Uncle Monty of his authenticity, Olaf murders the scientist and blames the attack on a poisonous viper. Olaf is positive that authorities will return the children to him though, unexpectedly, Sunny befriends the snake and illustrates that it is harmless and incapable of violence.
The Baudelaire�s evil, greedy cousin escapes the grip of authorities once again, though his quest to destroy the children and claim their fortune will not cease. Each time the orphans find a loving home Olaf follows; when they seek refuge at their aunt�s home they experience Olaf�s wrath once again. With such an evil, persistent villain trailing the Baudelaires will they continue to escape, or face a premature death for the sake of one man�s greed?
While the film may seem dark and perhaps too gloomy for young audiences it is really quite the opposite. Scenes from this wonderful adventure are lavishly detailed, a feat no doubt accomplished by production designer Rick Heinrichs who is a longtime associate of �Edward Scissorhands� (1990) and �Beetlejuice� (1988) mastermind Tim Burton. The picture is capable of mesmerizing both adolescents and adults and will arouse the fantasies of all except the most horribly unimaginative.
�Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events� grossed $209 million worldwide and was awarded both an Oscar and Teen Choice Award, not including numerous other nominations. Due to the film�s success industry speculation seems to suggest that a bigger, better sequel may be in the works. This great adventure is rated PG for thematic elements, scary situations and brief language with a runtime of 108 minutes.