It is my regret to inform you that what you are about to read will most undoubtedly damper a Very Fine Day. If you choose to not read such rubbish, I highly suggest that you read an entirely different review, maybe one with cross-dimensional traveling equines or a plucky kitchen appliance.
Like most children back in the day, I first came across the Baudelaires in their book form. I had heard that a movie would be made based on the first three books. Needless to say, I never saw it in the theater. What I did do was ask my friends for the prizes in their Lunchables as they were tie-ins; I still have them. I did get a copy of it a year or so later from my library. It was only recently that I saw it again and saw how impressive the art design was.
The Baudelaire children have become orphans after their parents died in a house fire. Count Olaf becomes their caretaker, a rather serious mistake as he wants the Baudelaire’s money. The children, already one step ahead, try to expose Count Olaf for who he is as the movie details, to be precise, a series of unfortunate events.
Now for those who, for some reason go against the author’s wishes and read the books, will notice that the order of the film goes book 1, book 2, book 3, and then the end of book 1. Had the film gone in the original order, the overall story would become rather droll as the story would repeat itself with no thrilling climax.
The choice of cast members is quite surprising. You have Jim Carrey as the dashing and incredibly talented Count Olaf, Meryl Streep playing a rather timid and phobic aunt, Dustin Hoffman as a theater critic, Jude Law as the voice of the troubled author of the series, along with Jane Lynch, Helena Bonham Carter, and the Aflac duck.
The world that the film takes place in is incredibly real. The color palette, the sets, the costumes, complements the source material and the film itself in Very Fine Detail.
Of course, the ending does deviate from the books as Count Olaf does pay restitution by being forced to place himself in the same situations that the orphans were in. The Baudelaire children ride off into the country in the back of a car. Whether or not they live happily ever after is not explained or hinted at. And, since it was based on a book series, it was expected to continue. At this point, the idea is still in the air but as a stop-motion piece, nearly ten years since the first one’s release. If it does happen, I would hope that the same visual aesthetic is used like the end credits, a five minute treat for the eyes and ears.
At the box office, it had Various Film Describers give it some general praise. While it may not have been the best of the bunch, it was enough to garner an Oscar for Best Makeup.
If you are still reading this, dear reader, then perhaps I should say that the end of this review is near. After that, feel free to find some other light-hearted fare; you’ll need it.
Winner for Best Makeup