Movie Review: Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris Featured

Andy McKinney August 14, 2022 159

Some movies are a charming portrait, wonderfully told. 

Big Idea

  • 'Mrs Harris Goes to Paris' stars Academy Award nominee Lesley Manville
  • It is the third feature film for Director Anthony Fabian
  • An international ensemble cast with players from France, England and Sierra Leone
  • Rated PG
  •


This movie has a message of universal goodness and goodwill that we should pay attention to.

Movies are not just about spaceships, explosions, and heroes making quips as they slay the bad guys.  Sometimes, not often enough, they are about a charming story, wonderfully told.  I think of Dame Judy Dench in "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel."  Dame Hellen Mirren in "The Hundred-Foot Journey" also falls into this category.

In "Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris," we have Academy Award nominee Lesley Manville occupying the title role.  She is an actress of enormous skill, skill which has been refined and polished for decades.  Like her fellow Dames, Manville has scores of parts, including her performance in "Phantom Thread," which gained her an Oscan nomination.



An international ensemble cast with players from France, England, and Sierra Leone joins Manville in this pleasant confection.  Jason Isaacs, with some one hundred and seventy-three listed performances, will be the only familiar face.

"Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris" is only the third feature film for director Anthony Fabian, a man known more widely for his documentaries.

The unlikely story of an English cleaning lady in 1957 London has a message of universal goodness and goodwill that we should pay attention to.  Mrs. Harris, a humble woman with a good heart, has a bizarre dream of owning a gown from the famous French House of Dior.  Never mind that the cost of such a dress would evaporate her entire net worth or that she would not have an appropriate place to wear such a thing.  Mrs. Harris sets the dress as her goal.  On her quest, she encounters people who misunderstand her, others who disdain her, and some who appreciate her for her own self.

She never succumbs to the temptation to replay nastiness in kind.  She simply will not stoop to the level of her so-called betters.

Aside from the message, which the movie pals I watched the film with embraced with relish, the film has terrific performances by a handful of skilled thespians.  

We also got some social commentary on the time and place.  Paris in the late 1950s was a society in flux, still changing from the old top-down structure to a more fluid and fair regime we are familiar with today.  My favorite line came when a security guard defied the order to evict some unruly workers.  He said, "I am a Communist.  I am on their side.”

It was fun to look behind the scenes of a famous fashion house, to see the movie version of how they make the magic.

I think that audiences will like this four-sawblade movie.  The lovely "Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris" will charm you.  It has a very mild PG rating and runs for one hour and fifty-five minutes.

Lesley Manville's movie "Phantom Thread" also featured high fashion.



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Last modified on Sunday, 14 August 2022 02:06
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