Film (with rating): Orphan (R)
Studio: Warner Home Video
Summary: The loving Coleman family (Vera Farmiga, Peter
Sarsgaard) adopts young Esther, the Russian-born orphan with the tragic past,
and all seems perfect. Until circumstances start unfolding and the Colemans
wonder if “sweet” Esther is all she pretends to be.
Review: I guess
I didn’t get enough of my scary-movie fix last week, because here I am,
reviewing yet another gem in the genre.
“Orphan” is impressive in that it plays upon the whole evil-child
plot like in “Omen” while having plenty of its own unique twists to
keep the audience shrouded in suspense. It’s not a brilliant psychological
thriller, but it isn’t a remake of “Children of the Corn,” either.
“Orphan” may not be a horror film or a true thriller; it falls
somewhere in between, and director Juame Collet-Serra makes it work. The film’s
climax is commendable, and somewhat shocking. I did enjoy the film for the most
part, even though I have problems with scenes involving children and violence
of any kind. But man! Is this kid one bad seed! Newcomer Isabelle Fuhrman
portrays Esther with amazing creepiness. This is one “Dinner and a
DVD” you’ll want to watch when the kids are at Grandma’s. Definitely.
Extra highlight: The alternate ending.
What to serve for dinner: A Russian recipe–Chicken Kiev
(RusCuisine.com). Serves six.
2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. granulated garlic powder
1 large egg
2 Tbsp. cold water
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. granulated garlic powder
3/4 tsp. dried dill weed
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup fine dried breadcrumbs or saltine crackers
2 cups of olive oil or cooking oil for frying chicken
1/2 medium sliced fresh lemon
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
Remove all fat from chicken breasts and discard. Carefully
cut chicken breast in half with a sharp knife, but do not cut right through
(leaving a hinge on one side.) Place open chicken breasts between two sheets of
wax paper and, using a mallet or the flat of a cleaver, pound the chicken
carefully until about 1/4 inch thickness or less. Set prepared chicken on a
plate separated by wax paper and place in the refrigerator.
In a small bowl, combine softened butter, 1/2 teaspoon of
black pepper, 1 teaspoon of granulated garlic powder, mix well to blend. Spread
butter mixture on a piece of aluminum foil into a rectangular shape, about two
inches by three inches and place in freezer for about 1/2 hour or until frozen.
When butter is firm, remove from freezer and cut into six equal pieces. Place
one piece of butter on each chicken breast at one end. Start to roll chicken
over butter, then fold in both sides and continue rolling to encase the butter
completely. Secure chicken rolls with skewers or round toothpicks.
In a bowl, beat egg with water until fluffy. In a separate
bowl, mix together 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/2
teaspoon dried dill weed and 1/2 cup flour.
In another bowl, add the dried bread crumbs. Coat chicken
rolls with seasoned flour. Now dip chicken rolls in egg mixture, then dip and
coat with bread crumbs. Place coated chicken in a shallow dish and refrigerate
for at least 30 minutes to chill or longer if desired.
Add two cups of vegetable oil or olive oil into a frying pan
and heat to medium-high heat.
Carefully place chicken rolls into heated oil and fry for
about five minutes on each side or until done and golden brown. To test for
doneness, cut into 1 rolled chicken to make sure there is no pink showing. Serve
immediately, garnished with lemon twists and parsley.
What to talk about over dinner: Do you believe there can be
bad seeds? What is your favorite evil-child film? What do you think adoption
proponents have to say about this movie? Why do you think more and more
celebrities are adopting overseas? If you did adopt, what country would you
choose? Why? Are orphans in other countries in more danger than American
orphans? Why or why not? Which ending of the movie did you prefer? Would you
rather adopt an infant, or an older child? Why?