We saw a movie tonight, called “Le hérisson” with three stellar actors, which you should bookmark if you like the following movies: Cinema Paradiso, As Good As It Gets, The Visitor, Lars and the Real Girl, The Girl in the Cafe, Bella, The Lives of Others, Sex and Lucia, Children of Heaven, The Red Balloon, Happy-Go-Lucky, Kolya, King of Masks, Whale Rider or any movie that is touching, sensitive, intelligent and understated.
I don’t know why I added the IMDB link since it is useless. I don’t think it even has a synopsis. The cast of three main actors are an utterly unrecognizable Josiane Balasko as an aging morose but innerly rich concierge, a breathtaking Garance LeGuillermic as a suicidal 11-year-old and Togo Igawa as a perceptive loving new proprietor in the building who brings with him Japanese culture, a shared love of Tolstoy and a sense of humor that will bring all three lives colliding together in a happy ballet.
Josiane Balasko is a little of the Nicholson from As Good As It Gets in her solitary habits of an aging antisocial, with kinks and habits but without the crippling OCD and inability to function successfully. She’s a little similar in the sense that she gets yanked out of her daily routine of decades against her will (and way more directly than Nicholson), by a child, and finds herself transformed permanently by the interaction.
The movie takes place in the Paris of the very privileged, in the 16th arrondissement, in a family where no one is happy and the precocious and depressingly aware 11-year-old suicidal daughter decides to chronicle the unhappiness in a hand-me-down super-8 camera she carries everywhere. The way she sees the world, and the way you learn to see the world through the eyes of the three main characters, the touching moments of inner life that you glance, almost always non-verbally, through sheer brilliance of acting, facial expressions, tone of voice, looks, notes, details in the apartments or props makes the movie a real emotional feast.
I hope the movie comes to the States, it would do everyone good to see it. It’s a rare, rare gem.