Wow, What a movie. I saw Le Hérisson yesterday, and I know that this is one of these cinema experiences which will stay with me. Maybe forever. Why? Not because of an extraordinary plot or beautiful filming, although this is good work, but simply because the story touched me.
The movie is directed by Mona Achache, and it's inspired by the novel named "L'Elegance du hérisson" (The hedgehog's elegance) by Muriel Barbery.
We're in Paris, in an upper-class appartment building, and we get to meet Renée, the concierge, who introduces herself as ugly, chubby and not very much liked by others. She is living up to the idea rich people have of women like her, and she comes across as non-educated and a little bit stupid, but the fact is, she is exactly the opposite. Renée loves great literature, she loves good movies and she loves the Japanese culture.
Another character, Paloma, a young girl living upstairs in one of the luxury appartments, has decided to kill herself the day she turns 12, because she doesn't want to end up like her parents, like goldfish in a bowl...
Then there is Kakuro, the Japanese man who moves in...
It's a movie that feels very real. I have lived in a building like this in Paris, I recognize all the small hints and signs and boundaries which are put up to confine people. The actors don't seem like they're acting, they're real, and you become very fond of these characters.
It's a story about death and about life, about friendship and love, about the power of arts, especially literature and cinema.
This movie will become a part of my dvd library very, very soon.
For information about cast etc, click here.