Best Director and Special Jury prize at the 2009 Cairo International Film Festival
Festival Selection: New York Rendez-Vous with French Cinema Today (2010), Richmond French Film Festival (2010), Cairo International Film Festival (2009), Dubai International Film Festival (2009)
West Coast Premiere
In French with English subtitles
35mm/Scope/Color/Dolby DTS/100 min
Written and directed by: Mona Achache
Based on the novel by: Muriel Barbery
Cinematography by: Patrick Blossier
Editing by: Julia Grégory
Music by: Gabriel Yared
Produced by: Anne-Dominique Toussaint
Production Company: Les Films des Tournelles
Coproduction: France 2 Cinéma, Pathé Distribution / Pathé International, Topaze Bleue
Pathé Distribution / Pathé International
2, rue Lamennais
Phone: +33 220.127.116.11.00
Cast: Josiane Balasko (Renée Michel), Garance Le Guillermic (Paloma Josse), Togo Igawa (Kakuro Ozu), Anne Brochet (Solange Josse), Ariane Ascaride (Manuela Lopez), Wladimir Yordanoff (Paul Josse), Sarah Lepicard (Colombe Josse),Jean-Luc Porraz (Jean-Pierre)
Adapted from the eponymous best-selling novel written by Muriel Barbery, The Hedgehog stars newcomer Garance Le Guillermic as Paloma, a precocious and suicidal 11 year-old who befriends Renée, the secretly erudite concierge of her upscale building (Josiane Balasko, A French Gigolo, Too Beautiful For You, French Twist). An acute observer of her dysfunctional family, Paloma sees an ally in Renée, who frequently reads alone with her cat. A window opens up in Renées solitary existence when she is courted by one of her new tenants, the elegant widower Kakuro (Togo Igawa, Speed Racer, Memoirs of a Geisha). As she gets to know Kakuro, Renée softens up and starts to see the possibility of love in her life, while her friendship and her words of wisdom start to change Palomas bleak outlook on the adult world.
Young filmmaker MONA ACHACHE studied theater and literature before working in film. She worked as assistant director on various features, including Father and Sons (COLCOA 2005). She was also script supervisor on fiction and documentary projects. Before The Hedgehog, she wrote and directed two critically acclaimed short films, popular in the international film circuit: Suzanne (COLCOA 2006), and Wawa (2007), Golden Bear and Audience Award at the Ebensee Festival of Nations. She is also an actress, most recently in Eden is West (COLCOA 2009). She is currently writing a second feature.
"Perfs are strong, with Balasko in particular suggesting a wealth of simmering emotion beneath her impassive features. "The Hedgehog" mostly takes place in the somberly lit apartment block; in enjoyable counterpoint, drawings by Paloma occasionally take on a life of their own." Jonathan Holland, Variety.
"This charmer provides another star turn for vet comedienne Josiane Balasko as the seemingly coarse, brittle concierge for a ritzy Paris apartment building who unexpectedly bonds with a rich, elegant Japanese gentleman. (...) The film, which recalls some elements of the award-winning Séraphine, is wise, perceptive, and smartly surprising in many ways." Doris Toumarkine, The Huffington Post.