Rating: Green Leaf
Orphaned and alone except for an uncle, Hugo Cabret (Asa Butterfield) lives in the walls of a train station in 1930s Paris. Hugo’s job is to oil and maintain the station’s clocks, but to him, his more important task is to protect a broken automaton and notebook left to him by his late father (Jude Law). Accompanied by the goddaughter (Chloe Grace Moretz) of an embittered toy merchant (Ben Kingsley), Hugo embarks on a quest to solve the mystery of the automaton and find a place he can call home.
Have you ever had faith in an idea that you thought was truly unshakeable, until one day, you realized you were wrong? At that moment, when you realize that everything you thought to be true in the world is just a bitter lie, how do you feel?
When I sat in the movie theater last week and saw my world crumble, I reacted in a way that I could never have predicted.
I was THRILLED. I walked out of the dim theater like I was floating, set free of some invisible shackles that I hadn’t known existed.
Those of you who read regularly may have picked up on the fact that I enjoy books. I enjoy movies too, but books are my thing. One of the foundations of my entire way of being is that the act of reading is special and unique, and that films just cannot replicate or replace that.
I’m shocked too. Do other anomalies like this exist?
I love the book. Don’t get me wrong. It was recommended to me a few months ago by one of my fourth grade students who was so proud that she had managed to read a “big book.” In fact, because we didn’t have it in our school library (that has since been rectified), that student brought me in her copy an lent it to me so that I could read it. Imagine that! A student loaning a book to a librarian 🙂
Anyway, I did not want to take her book for long so I settled down that night to read it. It was entrancing. After I finished the book, I then went on to YouTube to watch “Journey to the Moon.”
The film takes the beautiful idea of the book and weaves it into an artistically masterful work whose delivery enhances its message. The purpose of the film is to celebrate the way that movies construct dreams. Scorsese uses intricate technique to mesh together Hugo’s dream world and his own grittily romantic Paris. The first moments of the movie, when the cogs in a clock transform into the streets of Paris, give a taste of what the audience can expect for the next two wonderful hours.
So yes. Here is where I admit it. I was wrong.
Whew! That was hard.
All right Academy Award nominees, bring it on! It is my goal to see, review, and invent a treat for every single one of you by Oscar Night. I’ve already done Moneyball. Now on to the rest. While you are waiting, try this out. You know you want to.
Hugo’s Pear Galette
One of the foods that Hugo steals is a pear. I decided to roll with that and make a classic french galette (rustic pie) with pears. Because I can’t leave well enough alone, there is also some maple syrup in there. Why? Because I had some maple syrup and I thought it would smell good when it was baking. It turns out that it tasted pretty darn delicious as well. It sure makes my “I was wrong” admission easier to swallow.
For the crust:
This recipe is not the one I normally use, but I happened to be out of a necessary ingredient for that one and decided to improvise! That being said, this is quite wonderful. I used about half of this to make the galette. The other half, I am freezing. Yay for quick pie, but not so happy for trying to eat right. The crust recipe is courtest of Simply Recipes.
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling
- 1 cup (2 sticks or 8 ounces) unsalted butter, very-cold, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 6 to 8 Tbsp ice water
For the filling:
- Two pears, thinly sliced
- 1/8 cup maple syrup
- 1 Tbsp cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- Mix together the filling ingredients in a small bowl.
- Combine flour, salt, and sugar in a bowl. Add butter and, with a pastry blending, cut in the butter, until mixture resembles coarse meal, with pea size pieces of butter. Add ice water 1 Tbsp at a time, mixing until mixture just begins to clump together. If you pinch some of the crumbly dough and it holds together, it’s ready. If the dough doesn’t hold together, add a little more water and pulse again. Note that too much water will make the crust tough.
- Remove dough from bowl and place in a mound on a clean surface. If you want an extra flaky crust, shmoosh the dough mixture into the table top with the heel of the palm of your hand a few times. This will help flatten the butter into layers between the flour which will help the resulting crust be flaky. You can easily skip this step if you want. Gently shape the dough mixture into two disks. Work the dough just enough to form the disks, do not over-knead. You should be able to see little bits of butter in the dough. These small chunks of butter are what will allow the resulting crust to be flaky. Sprinkle a little flour around the disks. Wrap each disk in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour, and up to 2 days.
- Remove one crust disk from the refrigerator. Let sit at room temperature for 5-10 minutes in order to soften just enough to make rolling out a bit easier. Roll out with a rolling pin on a lightly floured surface to a 12-inch circle; about 1/8 of an inch thick. As you roll out the dough, check if the dough is sticking to the surface below. If necessary, add a few sprinkles of flour under the dough to keep the dough from sticking.
- Place the circle of dough on a piece of parchment paper or a greased baking sheet. Pour the filling on to the center of the dough. Loosely fold the edges of the dough over the filling. Remember, this is supposed to look rustic.
- Place in the oven and bake for 45 min, or more depending on how brown you like your crust.
- Cool for an hour before serving. Trust me, otherwise it WILL burn your mouth.