What looks like a fuzzy pre-teenybopper flick dabbled with mystery proves to be quite the opposite in The Hedgehog (Le Hérisson). Based on author Muriel Barbery's The Elegance of the Hedgehog and directed by Mona Achache, the film pricks at life and all its absurdities, hardships and happiness. Paloma (Garance Le Guillermic) is soon to be 12 and has big plans for her birthday. These have nothing to do with eating cake or acquiring gifts, but rather ending her own life. The overly pessimistic and oddly brilliant child is a stranger to her family: a sister who is preoccupied with her pet goldfish, a mother with psychological and substance-abuse problems and a father who is too busy as a politician to truly be dutiful to his fatherly roles.