Synopsis by Mark Deming
The best-selling series of subversive children's books from author Lemony Snicket (aka Daniel Handler) come to the screen in this black comedy for the whole family (and how often do you get to see one of those?). The Baudelaire siblings -- gadget freak Violet (Emily Browning), bookworm Klaus (Liam Aiken), and baby Sunny (Kara Hoffman and Shelby Hoffman) -- were living a fairy-tale existence with their parents until they died in a fire that destroyed the family home. With few close relatives and a large fortune the children won't inherit until they reach adulthood, the Baudelaire children are left in the care of the peculiar Count Olaf (Jim Carrey), an out-of-work actor who would love nothing more than to get his hands on the kids' money. It doesn't take long for the children to figure out that Count Olaf is up to no good, and they try to steer clear of his various murderous schemes with the help of wildly paranoid Aunt Josephine (Meryl Streep) and snake-fancying Uncle Monty (Billy Connolly). Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events also features Catherine O'Hara, Timothy Spall, Cedric the Entertainer, and Luis Guzman; Jude Law narrates in the guise of author Snicket.
assumed-identity, count (nobility), inheritance, orphan, sibling