Critic Reviews



Based on 22 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
Orlando Sentinel
The sweet, the comic and the tragic blend together most agreeably in the winsome French romance The Hedgehog.
At times The Hedgehog suggests a Gallic "Harold and Maude," with an intellectual gloss as it celebrates the life force passed from an older generation to a younger. But its concept of vitality isn't the popular cliché of kicking up your heels, breathing deeply and gorging on ice cream. It is an aesthete's ideal of pursuing moments of ecstatic perfection in art and companionship.
New York Daily News
Writer/director Mona Achache adapts Muriel Barbery's novel, "The Elegance of the Hedgehog," loosely but skillfully, creating an intimate portrait that resounds with empathy. Comedy and tragedy are given equal respect, and even the quietest souls are valued.
Gentle, tender and very French, The Hedgehog is cinematic poetry -- too bad about that prosaic plotting.
Perhaps the ending worked better in the book, Muriel Barbery's The Elegance of the Hedgehog, which sold more than a million copies in France. Certainly this adaptation, Mona Achache's directorial debut, is a very bookish movie.
Boxoffice Magazine
Contrary to all of my bitter nudging, I found both sweet and charming. It's just me: I hate precocious children.
Village Voice
Watching Balasko, a veteran actor-writer-director in thick-browed, frumped-up drag, sitting at her kitchen table reading Tolstoy and nibbling on dark chocolate with a cat in her lap, is one of The Hedgehog's purest delights. At the very least, it provides relief from the prating of that junior wisenheimer.
Although the conceit of an ever-so-erudite child palling around with an exceedingly wise concierge might be workable in a novel, cinema tends to realism, and Achache is too much of a novice to bring it off. The cuteness grates, and the setups and philosophizing are generally unconvincing.
Mona Achache's character study plays like a Gallic version of a Sundance flick, complete with on-the-nose references - Igawa's character is named Mr. Ozu - and just enough offbeat touches to make it seem more deep than it actually is.
The Hedgehog ultimately illuminates only the continued lameness of employing out-of-leftfield tragedy for cheap bathos.

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