The Hedgehog review

Quirky characters bring a morbid young girl back to life

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Based on Muriel Barbery’s novel, writer/director Mona Achache’s debut has a modern-day fairytale feel.

Ignored by her rich parents, precocious 11-year-old Paloma (Garance Le Guillermic) decides to end it all on her 12th birthday.

But she’s drawn into the lives of the secretly bookish concierge (Josiane Balasko, the metaphorical hedgehog of the title) and Japanese widower (Togo Igawa) who dwell in her Paris apartment block.

Highbrow nods (Ozu, Tolstoy) add preciousness, but this tale of unexpected emotional connections is charmingly acted and surprisingly moving.