THIS HOLIDAY, CHRISTMAS CHEER TAKES A BREAK.
Three children lose their parents in a fire and move in with a distant relative (Jim Carrey) who plans to kill them and steal their inheritance. This adaptation of the Lemony Snicket books is a dark and imaginative tale for kids and adults; learning a thing or two from Tim Burton, director Brad Silberling takes great advantage of Burton collaborator Rick Heinrichs. Fearing it would turn into another Grinch, I was pleasantly surprised to find a funny, grand, occasionally hysterical but sweet movie, featuring hilarious performances by Carrey and Meryl Streep in particular.
2004-U.S. 107 min. Color. Directed by Brad Silberling. Novels: Daniel Handler (“The Bad Beginning“, “The Reptile Room”, “The Wide Window”). Production Design: Rick Heinrichs. Cast: Jim Carrey (Count Olaf), Liam Aiken (Klaus Baudelaire), Emily Browning (Violet Baudelaire), Kara Hoffman, Shelby Hoffman, Meryl Streep… Timothy Spall, Jude Law, Catherine O’Hara, Luis Guzman, Billy Connolly, Jennifer Coolidge, Craig Ferguson, Cedric the Entertainer, Jane Lynch. Cameo: Dustin Hoffman.
Trivia: At one point, Barry Sonnenfeld intended to direct the film; he remained as co-executive producer. Later a TV series, Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events (2017- ).
Oscar: Best Makeup.
Quote: “You know, there’s a big world out there filled with desperate orphans who would gladly swim across an ocean of thumbtacks just to be eclipsed by the long shadow that is cast by my accomplishments.” (Carrey)