Movie Mom

Movie Mom


The Hedgehog

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Not rated
Profanity:None
Nudity/Sex:None
Alcohol/Drugs:Drinking, smoking
Violence/Scariness:Shocking and very sad death
Diversity Issues:Diverse characters, class prejudice
Movie Release Date:August 19, 2011

It’s hard to imagine a less cinematic novel than The Elegance of the Hedgehog.  Author Muriel Barbery is a professor of philosophy, and the book reads more like a series of essays than a story.  What made it work was the way Barbery created engaging voices for the two characters considering all those abstruce and arcane philosophical and literary concepts.  The movie gives us those characters without the ideas.  It is pleasant enough but it is like a frame without a picture.

YouTube Preview Image

The two characters, a middle-aged woman and an 11-year-old girl, barely know one another but they have three important things in common.  They live in the same building.  They are both autodidacts with prodigious intelligence.  And both are invisible to everyone around them.  Renee (Josiane Balasko) is the building’s concierge.  No one pays any attention to her unless they need something and that is fine with her.  She has a hidden room filled with books and her inner life is rich and satisfying.  The husband who may not have understood her but truly appreciated her has died.  She has just one friend, a warm-hearted woman who has no idea that Renee has read more than most college professors.  Paloma (Garance Le Guillermic) feels so isolated by the superficial concerns of everyone in her family that she cooly decides to kill herself on her 13th birthday.

The way that these two discover each other and the sweetness of their friendship is touching.  Balasko and Le Guillermic bring a lot of intelligence and sensitivity to their performances.  Togo Igawa is lovely as Mr. Ozu, a new resident of the building, but his character is too perfect a Prince Charming to make his relationship with Renee meaningful.  And, as with the book, the ending is jarring and unearned.  Without the depth of the book, it seems like an arty Hallmark movie.

 

 



Previous Posts

Trailer: Chef
Jon Favreau follows his big-budget special effects movies ("Iron Man," "Cowboys and Aliens") with a return to his small, indie roots ("Swingers") as director/writer/star of the scrumptious-looking "Chef."  (WARNING: Some strong language) [youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tP6SE65F-h4[/yout

posted 8:00:51am Apr. 19, 2014 | read full post »

Have a Blessed Easter: Movies for the Family
My gallery of Easter movies includes "Ben Hur," several different movie versions of the life of Jesus, a couple of choices just for kids, and a classic musical named for a classic song, Irving Berlin's "Easter Parade." There's something for every family celebrating this weekend. [youtube]https://

posted 8:00:44am Apr. 19, 2014 | read full post »

A Dramatic Commercial for TNT
I love this commercial for TNT! [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZIkPeZKP-d4[/youtube]

posted 8:33:40am Apr. 18, 2014 | read full post »

Movie Stingers: Scenes After the Credits
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QRJ38y4Jn6k[/youtube] Ferris Bueller had one.  Marvel superhero movies sometimes have two.  When did it become a thing to have a scene after the credits (sometimes called a stinger)? New York Magazine's Vulture column has the history of these extended

posted 8:00:47am Apr. 18, 2014 | read full post »

Fading Gigolo
John Turturro wrote, directed, and stars in "Fading Gigolo," a bittersweet meditation on the ways we seek and hide from intimacy, sometimes at the same time. Turturro plays Fioravante, a florist who works part-time for Murray (Woody Allen), the third-generation proprietor of a used and rare books

posted 9:24:32pm Apr. 17, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.