Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris (PG) ★★★½ H360 Radio Podcast

Lesley Manville stars as an older widowed cleaning lady Mrs. Harris in 1950s London who falls in love with a Christian Dior dress—she decides to save her meager earnings until she has enough to buy one. This enchanting fairy tale nudges all never to stop giving up on your dreams. The Focus Features movie is now playing in theaters and streaming on TV. Reminiscent of Paul Thomas Anderson’s excellent “Phantom Thread” film, also with Lesley Manville and Daniel Day-Lewis as a couture designer in 1050s Paris.

The story is based on Paul Gallico’s 1958 novel, with director Anthony Fabian at the helm. Ada Harris (Manville) takes a reprieve from scrubbing floors and washing the windows of her stereotypical snobby London clients to experience the glamor of haute couture in Paris’s House of Dior in the 1950s. The humorous script and Manville’s outstanding performance are the reasons to see the film. The always fascinating Isabella Rupert co-stars as a snobby Dior executive, a similar role to Manville’s in “Phantom Thread.”

The Bottomline: “Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris” is about more than just wanting a new dress; it’s about pursuing your dreams under impossible circumstances. Lesley Manville’s excellent performance is the reason to view the film. Her virtues of kindness and empathy are front and center. The film works as the story never gets too comfy; Ada’s roadblocks are many throughout the film. Manville and Huppert are awe-inspiring to watch, as is the young Dior staff learning the ropes yet setting new ethical principles to revamp the arrogant old ways of conducting business. The ending will bring a smile to your have and tug at your heartstrings.

 Director: Anthony Fabian

 Writers: Carol Cartwright, Anthony Fabian, Keith Thompson, and Olivia Hetreed


Lesley Manville as Ada Harris

Isabelle Huppert as Claudine Colbert

Alba Baptista as Natasha

Lucas Bravo as André Fauvel

Lambert Wilson as Marquis de Chassagne

Philippe Bertin as Christian Dior

Rose Williams as Pamela Penrose

Run Time: 2 Hours

Studio: Focus Features

Sarah Knight Adamson© July 24, 2022

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