The Hedgehog (2011) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Hedgehog (2011)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

Inspired by the beloved New York Times bestseller, The Elegance of the Hedgehog, by Muriel Barbery, The Hedgehog is the timely story of Paloma (Garance Le Guillermic) 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, Paloma begins to learn about life from the grumpy building concierge, Renée Michel (Josiane Balasko). When Paloma's camera reveals the extensive secret library in Renée's back room, and that the often gruff matron reads Tolstoy to her cat, Paloma begins to understand that there are allies to be found beneath the prickliest of exteriors. As the unlikely friendship deepens, Paloma's own coming of age becomes a much less pessimistic prospect. -- (C) NeoClassics Filmsmore
Rating: PG
Genre: Drama, Art House & International, Comedy
Directed By: ,
Written By: Muriel Barbery, Mona Achache
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jun 12, 2012
Box Office: $0.8M
NeoClassics Films - Official Site


Josiane Balasko
as Renée Michel
Togo Igawa
as Kakuro Ozu
Anne Brochet
as Solange Josse
Ariane Ascaride
as Manuela Lopez
Sarah Le Picard
as Colombe Josse
Jean-Luc Porraz
as Jean-Pierre
Gisèle Casadesus
as Madame de Broglie
Mona Heftre
as Madame Meurisse
Valérie Karsenti
as Tibère's Mother
Stephan Wojtowicz
as Tibère's Father
Sarah LePicard
as Colombe Josse
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for The Hedgehog

Critic Reviews for The Hedgehog

All Critics (69) | Top Critics (19)

"The Hedgehog" sneaks up on you with its heartfelt storytelling and sophisticated wit.

Full Review… | October 7, 2011
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Top Critic

A satisfying emotional experience.

Full Review… | September 22, 2011
Arizona Republic
Top Critic

A reminder that, sometimes, the movies can get a beloved book exactly right.

Full Review… | September 8, 2011
Seattle Times
Top Critic

This a movie with such a light, stylish touch, it makes no claims to profundity and is a sweetly hopeful experience.

Full Review… | September 8, 2011
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

"The Hedgehog" is a treat: a movie that's smart, grown-up, wry and deeply moving.

Full Review… | September 2, 2011
Washington Post
Top Critic

Enchantment will go a long way toward overcoming implausibility, but there's not enough of the former here - and far too much of the latter.

Full Review… | September 1, 2011
Boston Globe
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for The Hedgehog

"My parents are rich, my family is rich and my sister and I are basically rich. But, in spite of that, in spite of all this luck and wealth, for a long time now I've known I'm heading for the fishbowl. A world where adults bang like flies on the glass. But I know one thing. The fishbowl isn't for me.".

Paloma is a bright little girl that decides to commit suicide on her 12th birthday. Once the important is not how or when but what you're doing
when you die, she decides to make a film to show how absurd life is.
In the beginning she didn't convinced me, but now I remember of Le Diable Probablement and I can see some similarities between Bresson's character Charles and her: they don't have the "common" agnst or deep sadness that used related to suicidal people, but a feeling of certainty and, conequently, unadjustment.

Mona Achache works up such a difficult subject with humour and sensitivity. The images of Paloma's film in contrast with the film itself are great and the drawings, adorable.
I just didn't like the dramatic-expected fairytale/love tale.

Rubia Carolina

Super Reviewer


"The Hedgehog" starts with 11-year old Paloma(Garance Le Guillermic) filming herself talking about killing herself on her twelfth birthday in about 165 days. In the meantime downstairs, Renee(Josiane Balasko), the concierge, goes about her daily business. So, as one old tenant dies, Kakuro(Togo Igawa) arrives to take his place, along with a love of literature.

Well, you certainly have to give "The Hedgehog" this much. As unique as it is, equally combining sweetness and darkness, the movie gets right to the heart of the matter by grabbing the viewer's attention right away and gently never letting go. Overall, with its references to multiple art forms, including literature, movies and painting, the movie is about the imagination, with a character at the center who has an overactive one while ironically not being able to imagine much of a future for herself, just as Kakuro and Renee indirectly remind her that it may never be too late. At the same time, the viewer has to use his imagination to think about what Paloma's life may be outside of the apartment building where the movie is entirely set except for a brief visit to the cleaners. Not that it is her fault, but I think her depression comes from being bullied on the playground, as her kind of precociousness and weirdness never go over well there. Plus, we never see any friends in the apartment.

Walter M.

Super Reviewer


This is an odd movie with a touching story, adapted from the international best seller The Elegance of the Hedgehog. I have to say that I never heard of the French filmmaker Mona Achache before, and my surprise was very pleasant, smart, funny and warm film!

The story is told by the 11 year-old Paloma (Garance Le Guillermic) and is telling us that she has decided that life is not worth living, and that most of the people around her exist in a pointless fishbowl that will only end in suffering. She informs us that she intends to end her life on her twelfth birthday, which will take place in 153 days... and everything starts rolling from there in a real tour de force!

Paloma is adorable even with her round eyeglasses and striped shirt, carrying a video camera wherever she goes. She is documenting the ridiculous and therefore tragic lives of the fishbowl people she lives among. The other two major characters in the story are the elderly Japanese man Kakuro Ozu (Togo Igawa) who moves into Paloma's building, and the building's janitor Rene Michel (Josiane Balasko), an overweight woman with no friends and a cat. Somehow, this trio (melancholic Japanese man, the depressive Paloma, and the gruff Hedgehog - janitor Rene) manage to bring out the best in each other. Charming performances, very well directed, perfect story - and here it is: one of the films you'll remember forever! Do not miss it!

Panta Oz

Super Reviewer

The Hedgehog Quotes

– Submitted by Frances H (2 years ago)
– Submitted by Frances H (2 years ago)
– Submitted by Frances H (2 years ago)

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