Snicket's A Series Of Unfortunate Events
(Directed by Brad Silberling, starring
Jim Carrey, Meryl Streep, Billy Connolly)
is something wonderfully warped in the mind of Daniel Handler.
books - Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events (there
are 11 in the series so far) - are inspired, deviously dark fables,
somewhere between Dickens and Dahl, and have become a children's
literary phenomenon second only to Rowling's Potter books.
Count Olaf Carrey is once again given free reign to contort
his face and body to comic effect..."
the (almost inevitable) big screen adaptation, Dreamworks and Paramount
have decided there are more than enough unfortunate events in the
first three books alone for a 107-minute long feature, and they're
film, a surefire winter blockbuster, boasts a pacey narrative, marvellous
set pieces, inspired casting - and Jim Carrey.
titular Unfortunate Events are those suffered by the orphaned Baudelaire
children, who are placed in the guardianship of Count Olaf (Carrey)
- "a fourth cousin three times removed or a third cousin four
Baudelaires then find that they have to outwit Olaf and his delightfully
treacherous contrivances to steal away their enormous inheritance.
include a couple of alter egos, a wayward train, a deadly viper,
a hurricane, lethal leeches, and the hugely entertaining idiosyncrasies
of two other guardians: Uncle Monty (Billy Connolly) and Aunt Josephine
young actors - Emily Browning, Liam Aiken and the Hoffman twins,
Kara and Shelby - are a joy to watch, somehow imbuing both adult
sensibility and youthful verve into their performances.
there's Jim Carrey. The problem is he just seems to be enjoying
himself a little too much.
Carrey and director Brad Silberling pictured at the movie's
Olaf - who is a mean-hearted, devious, mediocre, money-hungry actor
- Carrey is once again given free reign to contort his face and
body to comic effect; this is after all, what Carrey does so faultlessly
in playing it for laughs, as he frequently does, the character loses
the devilish malevolence that permeates the books.
the film is easy - it has much in its favour, and frankly any children's
film that throws the idea of 'goodwill to all' out of the window
is alright by me.
a shame that director Brad Silberling has not quite hit the darkly
subversive mark established by Handler, he has ensured that film
and book are not joined at the script, and created an imaginative
and utterly enjoyable interpretation all the same.
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