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children's literature, childhood and culture (and anything else that strikes my fancy).

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Location: pittsburgh, U.S. Outlying Islands

carbon-based life form: thinking, reading and gardening. New College alum; current grad student writing a dissertation. I specialize in children's literature, media, and culture, and queer/gender studies, with a strong interest in 19th century British literature and culture. I like history, a lot.

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Lemony Snicket movie

It's been awhile since I posted here due to an unexpected personal crisis in the form of being suddenly, deliberately and without warning broken up with by my boyfriend of five years.

To help me keep it together in the immediate aftermath, my nice mom came down from Buffalo (in a snowstorm!) to stay with me for a week. One night we went to see Lemony Snicket's Series of Unfortunate Events (the movie).

And I loved it!!! I'm quite a fan of the books, and I was curious as to how the film would handle the literariness and smartness of them. Also, it squishes the first three books into one movie, and does it marvellously.

Jim Carrey was awesome as Count Olaf and his various disguised characters. We (my mom and I) especially liked him as "Stefano, an Italian man," one of the funniest lines in the film. Olaf's theatricality and general absurd repulsiveness is in very good hands with Carrey. The kids were good, too, even Sunny.

Sunny's lines were a little too smarty-pants and way too modern (in a bad attempt at a sort of hip sarcasm), but since they were subtitled (brilliant!) I cut the writers a little slack. Klaus was assigned too much power - the brains and agency of the Baudelaires is shared out pretty equally in the books, but let's face it: Violet is the mover-and-shaker of the three. The rearrangement of chronology was an excellent adaptive decision.
The costumes and sets were killer (and nominated, like the score, for an academy award, though sadly lost - they did get the award for makeup).

Go see this movie. It is very good. Watch all the way through the credits - amazing track from the score by Thomas Newman, and even more amazing background animation by some genius (or geniuses). Really, the credits sequence is practically worth the price of the ticket/rental (my mom and I agreed on this).

Normally I loathe adaptations from books I adore, but this one really did quite an excellent job. and i await the ominous omnibus (and the next snicket film installment) eagerly.


Anonymous Judith said...

Hi Kerry,

I've just caught up with your blog and I am sorry to hear about your recent breakup. I hope you've got your chin up. Hang in there and do lots of comfort reading!

1:17 AM  

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