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Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events [2004]

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Director:Brad Silberling
Writer:Robert Gordon
Composer:Thomas Newman
Length:108 minutes
(1 hour 48 minutes)
MPAA Rating:PG
Sorting Category:Family
IMDB Rating:6.8/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating:72%
Amazon Rating:4.5/5 stars
User rating sites like above
are subject to change
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Classifications:
  • Family
  • Dark Comedy
  • Kids
  • Drama
  • Fantasy
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Synopsis: 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.


Reaction: Odd. Imaginative. Bizarre. But fun. Just doesn't gel as much as it could.


Personal Rating: 6/10

Select Cast and Crew
Brad Silberling => Director
Robert Gordon => Writer
Thomas Newman => Composer
Daniel Handler => Books (as Lemony Snicket)
Amy Brenneman => Mrs. Baudelaire (uncredited)
Billy Connolly => Uncle Monty
Bob Clendenin => Grocery Clerk (as Robert Clendenin)
Catherine O'Hara => Justice Strauss
Cedric the Entertainer => Constable
Craig Ferguson => Person of Indeterminate Gender
Dustin Hoffman => The Critic (uncredited)
Emily Browning => Violet
Gilbert Gottfried => Duck (voice) (uncredited)
Helena Bonham Carter => Beatrice Baudelaire (uncredited)
Jamie Harris => Hook-Handed Man
Jane Adams => White Faced Woman
Jane Lynch => Realtor (uncredited)
Jennifer Coolidge => White Faced Woman
Jim Carrey => Count Olaf
Jude Law => Lemony Snicket (voice)
Kara Hoffman => Sunny
Liam Aiken => Klaus
Luis Guzmán => Bald Man (as Luis Guzman)
Meryl Streep => Aunt Josephine
Shelby Hoffman => Sunny
Timothy Spall => Mr. Poe

Random Trivia For This Title:

  • When the children first meet Count Olaf and Jim Carrey says, "Wait, give me that last line again", was not actually in the script, it was Carrey staying in character and wanting to try it again, but they kept the cameras rolling and felt it worked the way it happened.
  • During production, Liam Aiken grew four and a half inches (11.4 centimeters), requiring adjustments to his costume throughout. By the end of the movie, he is visibly taller than Emily Browning, who portrayed his older sister.
  • After scouring ballet schools looking for a girl to play Violet Baudelaire, Casting Director [?] Avy Kaufman was exercising at the gym when she spotted Emily Browning on television, and decided to get her for an audition.
  • 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.
  • Jim Carrey was very excited at the opportunity of working with Billy Connolly, and even more excited at the opportunity of working with Meryl Streep.
  • The twins playing Sunny were genuinely terrified of Jim Carrey in his Count Olaf make-up.
  • Violet tries to sign the marriage document with her left hand and Count Olaf says "Right hand please". This is a reference to the book in which Violet does sign the document with her left hand, after which Justice Stauss declares the marriage invalid, since she did not sign it in her "own hand".
  • Originally, Director Brad Silberling wanted Sunny to be pure CGI. While he eventually used real babies for the part, at least four of Sunny's scenes have a CGI baby because they would be impossible or dangerous for a real child to do. Among these are shots of Sunny hanging on to a table by her teeth, and catching a spindle with her mouth, and the scene where she is entangled with the Incredibly Deadly Viper.
  • The film had a sequel planned, but sadly never got off the ground, even though Jim Carrey was on-board from the beginning. The movie was rebooted into a Netflix series with Neil Patrick Harris taking on the role of "Count Olaf".
  • Filming stopped on several occasions after one of the twins playing Sunny (Shelby Hoffman and Kara Hoffman) fell asleep.
  • Triplets were originally cast to play the role of Sunny Baudelaire. But when the trio developed stage fright and separation anxiety, and would do nothing but cry, they were replaced by twins Shelby Hoffman and Kara Hoffman.
  • Jim Carrey's make-up and hair took three hours to finish.
  • Many scenes of Sunny talking were actually partly virtual. The lower part of the face was replaced and tracked onto the real face.
  • The duck that nearly gets a stove dropped onto it is well known to American audiences as the Aflac Duck. He's the mascot for the American insurance company Aflac. Their ads feature a pair of people discussing Aflac insurance, but being unable to remember the company's name while he tries to shout it out, but simply sounds like a quacking duck. Paramount Pictures and Aflac also ran a series of movie tie-in ads.
  • [?] Christy Carlson Romano was originally supposed to play the role of Violet.
  • Early in pre-production, [?] Scott Rudin was attached to produce this movie, with Barry Sonnenfeld as director. Rudin later left the project over "budgetary conflicts", and Sonnenfeld left soon after. However, both are still credited as Executive Producers.
  • [?] Haley Hudson was considered for the role of Violet.
  • Helena Bonham Carter (Beatrice Baudelaire) and Meryl Streep (Aunt Josephine) appeared in Disney live-action movies. Carter in Alice in Wonderland (2010), Cinderella (2015), and Alice Through the Looking Glass (2016), and Streep in Into the Woods (2014).
  • The film cast includes two Oscar winners: Meryl Streep and Dustin Hoffman; and two Oscar nominees: Jude Law and Helena Bonham Carter.