Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events
James E. Carrey, Meryl Streep, Billy Connolly, Emily Browning,
Liam Aiken, Shelby and Kara Hoffman, and Timothy Spall
Directed by: Brad Silberling
the DVD Immediately!
speaking? Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events
is a wonderfully wacky and deliciously dark masterpiece. Dripping
of Gorey-isms and Addams-esque hues (thanks to Rick Heinrichs
and his spectacular art department), the film whips up a realm
of devilishly different entertainment. And Jim Carrey, who steals
the show as the hammified Count Olaf, is the reigning king of
this slice of humorous macabre to be sure.
the three Baudelaire children, Violet, Klaus and Sunny (Emily Browning,
Liam Aiken, Shelby and Kara Hoffman), have been left orphans by a tragic, and
parents had luckily left a Mr. Poe (Timothy Spall) what-to-do instruction, in
such an event, and the trio is sallied off in the guardianship of their recently
surfacing "uncle", Count Olaf (Jim Carrey).
Count, a rather self-absorbed ac-tor, wouldn't know a night-time fable
from a race-track form, and has one thing percolating in that balding dome of
his - the children's immense fortune
His humble abode is nothing
short of a ramshackle den of the absurd and a haven for his colossal self-love.
He immediately engulfs the children and sets them to work as his personal assistants/servants.
Ms. Cinderella had it easy...
Mr. Poe quickly realizes he may have made a judgment error in Olaf and removes
the kids - lickedy split.
end up with their exciting and loving Uncle Monty (Billy Connolly). Monty, who's
kind of a nutter himself, has great plans for travel and an adventuresome life
for the newly formed foursome. But another unfortunate event cuts his plans short
and the children are again shuffled off to another relative.
time they are put with their starnge, but cordial, Aunt Josephine (Meryl Streep).
She has a bit of a fear issue. In fact the poor old gal's afraid of just about
everything. And just as the children settle in, a strange sea-faring man,
Captain Sham (also Carrey) surfaces to woo dear Aunt Josephine
event occurs and viola
they are back with they are back within the grip of
the conniving Count Olaf.
this time the desperate Count has ruthlessly plotted his way towards that fortune.
anyone would actually stop and listen to the children, none of
these shenanigans would ever be set forth
but adults are
adults and they remain oblivious to the trials these kids continue
to face. Luckily,
each child has a special talent that assists them in these series
of unfortunate events, and their search for normalcy. Violet is
an inventor. She can look at items and create marvelous machines.
Her brother Klaus, loves to read. And he remembers what he reads
and is able to assist. Little Sunny has razor sharp teeth, and
enjoys biting - anything - and everything. They may just be okay...
As the menacing
Count Olaf, complete with a balding head, spattered about with bafoony
shoots of gray hair, and a nose Clouseau would be envious of, Jim
Carrey leaps about within the frames almost transcending into a
cartooned character. He's wonderfully hilarious and oh-so-darkly
shifted. And this "Count Olaf" fella fancies himself an
extraordinary actor - he's not of course - he's really a
nasty schmo; a grand turkey stuffed with mounds of Spam, with a
dollop of pure evil creme. Carrey also plays several roles as a
"disguised" Count, and reminds us all why he is the highest
paid comedian on Earth. Be sure to pack your protective headgear
for when you lunge uncontrollably forward from laughter into the
theater seat before you! And listen closely to the Count's brilliant
haranguing for a smidge of added comedy glee
children, Emily Browning, Liam Aiken, Shelby and Kara Hoffman,
are precious. Each shines in their role. They manage to transform the Baudelaire
children from the written word onto the screen so well, any true enthusiast of
the books (on which the film is firmly based) should be giddy.
Streep as Aunt Josephine is simply wonderful - and perfectly bizarre. Billy Connolly,
as Uncle Monty, as a particular bit of good as well.
Law lends his voice as Lemony Snicket and guides us through the children's many
perils. The film is dark and the wee-er ones may have issue with some of the stunts
the kids are put through. But it's all in good fun, and ultimately nothing more-so
than the book series by Danial Handler. Director Brad Silberling has created a
world askew even the master of fables foncées, Tim Burton, would be proud
recommendation: Pasta Puttanesca with a slab of Canadian bacon, roasted leech
pate, and some frosty ale