The Hedgehog

For the porn star with the nickname "The Hedgehog", see Ron Jeremy.
The Hedgehog
Directed by Mona Achache
Produced by Anne-Dominique Toussaint
Written by Mona Achache
Muriel Barbery
Based on The Elegance of the Hedgehog
by Muriel Barbery
Starring Josiane Balasko
Music by Gabriel Yared
Cinematography Patrick Blossier
Release dates
  • 2009 (2009)
Language French
Budget $8 million
Box office $11.8 million[1]

The Hedgehog (Le Hérisson) is a French film directed by Mona Achache, loosely based on the novel The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery. Made in 2008, the film was released in theatres in 2009.


Paloma is an 11-year-old girl quietly and unhappily living in a luxurious Paris apartment with her family. She is intelligent and observant and, in sensing disappointment and despair in adulthood, decides to end her life before she reaches it, on her next birthday, 165 days from where the story begins. Her dad's old camera in hand, she records telling moments in the lives of the inadequate humans around her: her antidepressant-dependent mother; her moody sister; petulant dinner guests. As Paloma prepares to finish her days, it is Mrs. Michel, the gruff-looking, reclusive concierge, who manages the building where Paloma and her family live. She hides her passion for literature from her bourgeois employers but is found out by the new resident, Mr. Ozu, widowed and Japanese, as a beautiful bibliophile in elegant disguise. A fiercely tender attraction grows between the three like-minds, showing Paloma a more lovely side of life than she originally thought possible and forcing her to reconsider her plan of suicide.


Critical reception

The film received positive review. Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reports that 88% of 67 critics gave the film a positive review, for an average rating of 7/10. [2]


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