Hedgehog (Le Herrison)
Emily Blunt Review
Directed by: Mona Achache
Subtitled French Film
speaking? France is usually the place to find
small amazing films. This is no exception. The Hedgehog
tiptoes through a few lives. The lens and players quietly sharing
moments that ultimately ad up to a film that leaves you feeling...literally
feeling. And these days saying a film raised an emotion
(other than excitement due to an energetic edit or hyper sound
system) says a lot.
Paloma (Garance Le Guillermic) is facing another birthday. She
will be twelve. She has decided not to be twelve. She is planning
to kill herself as she feels death is nothing. Paloma is a deeply
introverted brooding – but charming – child.
She is also
a rich child in a rich home. Her family is busy with their own
dramas (imagined and real). They know Paloma is there, but not
who she is.
father’s old video camera Paloma begins to document what
she has determined will be her last 165 days. A child of Nietzsche-esque
tendencies Paloma is a suffering being who feels she is destined
to grow into nothing. She shall be just another being stuck in
the rut of life, as exposed as some insignificant little goldfish
wallowing in a privacy-free bowl.
own swanky apartment home's level a neighbor has died. In their
place comes a gentle Japanese man (Togo Igawa).
other residents, he is immediately intrigued with the building’s
janitor Renee (Josiane Balasko ). The two seemingly yin and yang
souls dare to cross "classes." A reserved kinship is
explored; friendship and “what ever they want it to be.”
has also just recently noticed Renee. Not simply as subject matter
for her film, or the building's frumpy janitor, but as a woman
with a secret…
girl playing Paloma, Garance Le Guillermic, is like a French Dakota
Fanning; talented and adorable. Hollywood is sure to "discover"
her and treat her as they've done Keira Knightly. Hopefully, Garance
will get through her assigned stylist's whims, the studio's gobbstopping-money-centric
machine and find herself still interested in doing these kinds
of thoughtful films.
who plays the somewhat invisable Renee, is a veteran in foreign
film. And her decades of experience shines like a creme brulee
on a table of store-brand sugar cookies. That is not to say her
costars are weak (not at all). Josiane is just the clear scene
stealer - and she hardly speaks!
Igawa is an
elegant gentleman you will recognize, though you may not recall
from where. Head over to IMDB.com and see for yourself.
In every aspect,
The Hedgehog is wonderful. The acting all around superb,
the sets and location marvelous; I could have done without the
fish murder…but still. Director Mona Achache has an exceptional
eye for bringing out the loudest statements with the smallest
of voices. Get to this film, order this film, see this film. It
will remind you not every film is a generic studio-driven farce
remarkable only in the egos before and behind the lens and bottom-line
recommendation: Ramen noodles and tea