The cast of Mrs Harris Goes To Paris: Leslie Manville, Isabelle Huppert, Jason Isaacs, Lambert Wilson, Alba Baptista, Lucas Bravo
Film Director Mrs. Harris Goes To Paris: Anthony Fabian
Movie Rating of Mrs Harris Goes To Paris: 2.5 stars
At a pivotal moment in this skeletal coat hanger from a movie, Mrs. Harris (Leslie Manville) is given a tour of the studio at Dior’s house in Paris. One room is for cutting, the other for sewing, and so on and so on, the oohs and aahs filling the inability to put into words exactly what so many women in flawless white clothes and coats do with the many wisps of fabric.
This film from director Anthony Fabian is something like that, in a way – a lot of different things hoping to come together into a wholesome couture work. And if Christian Dior still smells like roses and riches, the women the French designer loved to dress will get the shabby end of the deal.
None worse than Mrs. Harris herself, but a devoted war widow, of course, plus a merry cleaning lady, plus an ill-treated labourer, plus a loyal friend – one of those “invisible women” with whom men leave their dogs to watch afterward, while they get on the dance floor with someone else. So can a person like her, past her prime, dream an impossible dream?
But that’s not what the movie is about. It’s not something Mrs. Harris does, but some quirky windfalls that bring her in cash so she can take a trip to Paris to buy her dream dress from Dior — like the kind she saw in an employer’s wardrobe. Then sheer kindness paves the way for her to that fashion house and beyond, while the highly intelligent and outstanding actor Manville is forced to use all her talents to ensure that Mrs. Harris is not more distasteful than the story is.
It’s 1957, WWII blues are fading, luxury is back, even when workers are on strike and the streets of Paris are full of trash. Right now, Dior employees see flashes of someone like her in Ms. Harris – mere cogs in a system. Is that why they open their homes, hearts and offices to her?
But that’s not what the movie is about. After a brief scene in which excited staff comment on her situation, a completely unnecessary love story, sparked by the lovely lady from London, of course, takes over.
Dior is a luxury that not everyone can afford – rather it actively discourages the horror that everyone can afford it. But is that enough to love it? Or condemn otherwise?
No, that’s not what the movie is about. An opportunity to show clothes as less than the person who wears them, as well as an asset that has made a man and a woman forever, is wasted in a confused hodgepodge guilty of celebrating haute couture and denying of it.
After appearing in a completely opposite role, such as this one in a movie also about high fashion, Phantom Thread, only Manville proudly wears her whole honest being on her sleeve – whether that sleeve is from her standard sloppy cardigan, or made of it. to -wear Dior ‘Temptation’.