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Review: ‘Mrs Harris Goes to Paris’ is a film with a lot of charm

Set in the late 1950s,Ada Harris is a London cleaner who loves fashion and wants to buy her own haute couture Dior dress. So after a few false starts, she heads to Paris to buy one from the French fashion house. 

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Billed as historical comedy drama its actually a complete fiction and based on a 1958 novel by Paul Gallico. 

The film is very cute, but it’s not without a number of cultural and socio-economic cliches. Some of the coincidences stretch credibility and the characters are pretty two dimensional – they are either good or they are snobby. And other than one exception, the snobby ones are irritable because they have troubles at home. 

The cast though are wonderful, and Leslie Manville as Mrs Harris plays her very convincingly. Mrs Harris herself is at times a touch saccharine, and her ‘she’ll be right love’ attitude a touch condescending, but she’s so genuine and adorable that she gets away with it. There is also a mix of tender and dramatic moments that pull the film back from an over indulgence in sweetness.

Because Dior co-operated in this movie, there are some gorgeous dresses portrayed and a mini fashion show part way through is a delight. 

The curious thing about the entire film though is the notion of Mrs Harris being an English saviour, and that’s something I’m not sure will go down that well with the French!

But this is a fairy tale where dreams might come true so there’s plenty of cute moments, a bit of drama, and some polite giggles. It’s not a sophisticated film, but it is charming to watch. 

So how did I score it?

Acting   8 /10

Story/Script 7 /10

Cinematography    8 /10

Set/Costumes   8/10

Entertainment   7 /10

That gives Mrs Harris Goes to Paris an average score of   7.6 / 10


Starring:      Lesley Manville, Isabelle Huppert, Lambert Wilson, Alba Baptista, Lucas Bravo, Ellen Thomas, Rose Williams, Jason Isaacs

Directed by: Anthony Fabian 

Duration: 115 Minutes

Opens in New Zealand – 20th October  2022

Opens in Australia – 27th October 2022


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