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Look out for more coverage of
Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events in our magazines

THE MOVIE: Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events

Jim Carrey • Meryl Streep • Jude Law • Billy Connolly • Liam Aiken • Emily Browning

Three children and a *loving* cousin… THE CONCEPT:
Based on Daniel Handler’s popular series of children’s books, this tells the alarming story of the Baudelaire orphans, who are forced to live with their cousin, a diabolical actor named Count Olaf (Carrey), who is determined to swindle them out of their family fortune, by doing away with them…

U.S. RELEASE: December 17 2004, Nationwide
• Rated: PG


“I think that children love there to be a dark element to the story. I remember when I was a kid just loving creepy movies that scared me and, at the same time, were funny. I remember Chitty Chitty Bang Bang with that Childcatcher, who was trying to entice kids out with candy and kidnapping them. I loved those characters. So it was a fine line we were going down here between making them laugh and making them like this character, but I wanted the danger to be real.”

DANIEL HANDLER on how he came up with the name Lemony Snicket:
“I was on the phone with some right-wing political groups and I was calling for a free video tape, but I didn’t want to be on their mailing list, so the woman said, ‘What’s your name?’ And I opened my mouth and I said, ‘Lemony Snicket,’ and then I thought, that’s not a name that anyone will believe. There was a pause, and this woman said, ‘It that spelled how it sounds?’ It just came right out of my mouth, which I find disturbing because I think if you need to lie at a moment’s notice you should be able to do it a lot better than that!”

“It was really pleasant working with Jim because we’re different kind of comedians. He’s so highly technical and he’s a perfectionist, and I’m absolutely the opposite. I’m anarchic and out of control – not completely, but I don’t care much. He’d adjust his performance and look at the playback, and it was interesting to me. I spoiled so many takes laughing at him.”

“The weird thing is that Olaf turned out looking a lot like my dad, which is really frightening to me. I usually try to put a little bit of dadism in my roles, so it’s kind of a wink to my family when they see the movies. They saw the advance pictures of this films and went, ‘Dude, now you’re starting to scare us.’”

EMILY BROWNING (Violet Beaudelaire):
“I heard a lot of people say that this movie is going to be too dark for kids, but that’s why kids like the books I think. Kids want adventure and it’s why kids want to sneak into adult films, because they have things that are more real. This is not an adult film, but it’s not cheesy and it’s not playing down to them.”

CARREY on a possible sequel:
“I don’t have a deal, but it’s one that I wouldn’t mind doing again because we created 30 extra characters that never made it in the movie. It’s so much fun playing a bad actor playing a character!”

Written by Judy Sloane. Back to top

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Images above © Paramount PIctures
Feature © 2004 Visual Imagination.
Not for reproduction.

Film Review, #652, January 2005 cover

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