Friday, 15 July 2016

The Hedgehog

A lovely friend leant me a copy of The Hedgehog a few months ago. It's taken me far too long to get to watching it, but finally I did. I was feeling very guilty about not having watched it yet. It was nothing personal, I do think this is probably the only DVD I've watched all year. Paris in July helped to push me over the edge the other night.

Le Hérisson/The Hedgehog is based on the French mega seller The Elegance of the Hedgehog. I can't say how closely it follows the book as sadly I haven't read it. I did start it on the Thalys on the way from Amsterdam to Paris in 2013. I fully intended it to be my Paris read in Paris that year, but I was too excited on the train, and couldn't settle into reading (anything). I think I read a page or two, and so it still remains unread to this day. 

I wasn't aware that there had been a movie version made of The Elegance of the Hedgehog until my friend was telling me about it. It's a lovely example of French quirkiness. Eleven year old Paloma lives with her family in a large Parisian apartment. She is intelligent and somewhat precociously witty. Paloma likes to film her family on her father's old video camera. Naturally this annoys most everyone particularly her older sister. 

Paloma forms a rather grim view of adult life, and plans a countdown to her suicide on her 12th birthday. It's an odd, but charmingly French story well worth seeking out, with some laugh out loud moments along the way. There are also delightful readerly moments, mostly featuring Tolstoy. Most of the action takes place within the apartment building so there aren't all that many gratuitous Paris porn shots. 

Paris in July


I'm Deb Nance at Readerbuzz said...

I assumed, for some reason, that this was a children's movie. I need to seek it out.

Brona said...

I have this on my TBR pile and now you've mentioned the Tolstoy references, I may have to bump it up higher - Russian and French! Tick, tick!

Lory said...

I enjoyed this movie and would like to read the book. I just read The Live of Elves by the same author for Paris in July, which seems to be something completely different.

Emma at Words And Peace / France Book Tours said...

the fabulous movie IS very close to the book. the characters exactly as I aw them in the book, especially the delightful Japanese new neighbor