The hedgehog

The hedgehog

DVD - 2009 | French
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The timely story of Paloma a young girl bent on ending it all on her upcoming twelfth birthday. Using her father's old camcorder to chronicle the hypocrisy she sees in adults, she begins to learn about life from the grumpy building concierge, Renee Michel. She begins to understand that there are allies to be found beneath the prickliest of exteriors.
Publisher: [Australia] : Madman Entertainment [distributor] [Vancouver] : NeoClassics Films, 2009]
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (100 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in
Alternative Title: Le hérisson


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Dec 03, 2015

French movie with english sub-titles.

May 14, 2015

Wonderful film for all ages! Touching and deeply life affirming, although a bit sad.

Apr 27, 2014

This is the movie adaptation of The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Babery, and is a terrific film. I read the book only a month ago and comparing it to the movie is hard. They were both very good. Paloma in the movie is the twelve-year-old girl I pictured when reading the book, perhaps a bit more artistic. The print concierge is maybe a bit shorter and fatter than the actress in the movie, but shared the same grumpiness and secretiveness. The interaction between the girl and the concierge was lovely in both mediums. The blossoming of the concierge was a delight and the realization of Paloma that life really does have more attraction than suicide was a relief.

Mar 10, 2014

I had read the book a couple years ago, was surpised that a movie was made of it. Very well done and acted. I would recommend it but, do read the book first.

Jan 17, 2014

I had read this excellent book a couple years ago. I really really enjoyed it. It was beautiful and sad and real and about how life goes. The movie was a very good adaptation. Excellent actually.

Sep 11, 2013

Very sensitive and touching performances by all but in particular by Josiane Balasko (Renee). I can’t recomnd it enough. Narrated largely through the eyes of the two main characters who are both hiding in their small private world; one in her bedroom of her parents large Paris apartment and the other in a library in her small first floor apartment in the same building. Death of one of the tenants brings into the building a Japanese man who gently helps them ease out of the isolation and helps them live again. The only thing that I do not agree with is the ending… do not believe it was necessary or at least it should have not been so precipitous. Could have waited... but even like it is it does teach us not to wait... life is made of emoptions and it is not forever. To seize those opportunities that we all have to live our lives before it is too late.

d2013 Mar 29, 2013

This movie was different but interesting about a lonely young girl and her relationships with others in her building.

markkluk Feb 16, 2013

All of the comments below describe this film much more eloquently than I could. It really captured my attention all the way through. The girl is indeed a tad on the bizzare side. One scene in particular made me yell out and jump in my seat like no "horror" movie ever could.

voisjoe1 Dec 20, 2012

A precocious, lonely young girl explores the meaning of life and death by associating with some of the other people that live in her apartment building. A nice simple tale in which enjoying the companionship around a person can make life more satisfying.

Aug 07, 2012

" ... Although Paloma is the film’s narrator, “The Hedgehog,” freely adapted from Muriel Barbery’s best-selling novel “The Elegance of the Hedgehog,” is a three-character fable in which Paloma learns compassion from two eccentric adult residents in her fancy apartment building.

One is its concierge, Renée Michel (Josiane Balasko), a forbidding, unkempt 54-year-old widow who maintains a politely chilly distance from the tenants. The movie’s namesake, she is prickly on the outside but refined and vulnerable underneath, and Ms. Balasko’s wonderful performance captures every layer. When Renée finally warms up, her sudden glow of well-being recalls the scene from “Babette’s Feast” in which the hard-bitten residents of a village savor gourmet food for the first time.

The other, Kakuro Ozu (Togo Igawa), is a rich, courtly Japanese man who moves into the building and befriends Renée. He awakens in her a dormant zest for companionship. When Kakuro overhears her muttering, “Happy families are all alike,” he recognizes the opening sentence from “Anna Karenina” and chimes in, “Every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.”

As the two embark on a chaste romance, Renée visits a hairdresser and emerges looking severely elegant. Eventually, she even cracks a smile. For years, Renée has carried on a secret life as a voracious and discriminating reader from her personal library in the back room of her apartment. Her cat is even named Leo (after Tolstoy). Kakuro’s first gift to her is a beautifully bound edition of “Anna Karenina.”

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