Based on author Muriel Barbery's The Elegance of the Hedgehog, The Hedgehog works its subtle charm on audiences.
Paloma (Garance Le Guillermic), an artistic 11-year-old making a documentary of her rich but problematic family as concierge staff Rene (Josiane Balasko), a lonely widow, watches on quietly. Through their interactions and friendships with elegant elderly Mr Ozu (Togo Izawa), who has just moved in, the lives of two protagonists are tied together and transformed.
One of the reasons why the movie works is due to well-developed characters. The hedgehog in this case is Rene, who seems tough and all prickly on the outside but is actually soft and thoughtful in the insides. She puts herself down as old and ugly and intentionally stays plain. On the other hand, our little heroine, at the first glance, makes a mountain out of a molehill. She plans to kill herself on her twelve birthday due to "family problems", which includes her mother talking to plants and her sister being annoying. The plot, in an unhurried, enjoyable pace, grows upon the arrival of Mr Ozu, who turns Rene inside out and inspires change in Paloma through his gentle grace.
The Hedgehog is a feel good film that highlights a good attitude and hope, which is suitable for audiences of all ages.