The Hedgehog

Film, Drama
2 out of 5 stars
Garance Le Guillermic in The Hedgehog
Garance Le Guillermic in The Hedgehog

Time Out says

2 out of 5 stars
Two separate films vie for supremacy in Mona Achache’s largely insufferable quirkfest based on Muriel Barbery’s 2006 novel, ‘The Elegance of the Hedgehog’. In film one, channelling equal parts ‘Rushmore’ and ‘Home Alone’, we have Garance Le Guillermic as the eminently slappable Paloma, 11-year-old pseud and – with an omnipresent Hi-8 camera  – furious auto-archivist, who’s decided to commit suicide on her twelfth birthday. Meanwhile, in film two, a hushed romance is playing out below stairs between surly, self-hating janitor Renée (Josiane Balasko) and gratingly genial Japanese stereotype Kakuro (Togo Igawa). Intended as a kooky meditation on death, Achache’s film pedals a tone so glib that it’s hard to care what happens. The technique has a degree of silky proficiency to it  but seems wasted on, among other things, long, precious close-ups of Paloma’s sprawling, hand-drawn mural. The second film is best, especially the scene when Renée and Kakuro watch Ozu’s ‘The Munekata Sisters’ together.

By: David Jenkins



Release details

Release date:
Friday September 2 2011
99 mins

Cast and crew

Mona Achache
Garance le Guillermic
Anne Brochet
Ariane Ascaride
Josiane Balasko
Togo Igawa
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