Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris

Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris

A 1950s London cleaning lady falls in love with an haute couture dress by Christian Dior and decides to gamble everything for the sake of this folly.

  • Released: 2022-07-15
  • Runtime: 120 minutes
  • Genre: Comedy, Drama
  • Stars: Lesley Manville, Isabelle Huppert, Lucas Bravo, Lambert Wilson, Alba Baptista, Anna Chancellor, Rose Williams, Ellen Thomas, Jason Isaacs, Roxane Duran, Bertrand Poncet, Christian McKay, Freddie Fox, Philippe Bertin, Guilaine Londez, Dorottya Ilosvai, Delroy Atkinson, Vincent Martin, Harry Szovik, Péter Végh, Csémy Balázs, Igor Szász, Jeremy Wheeler, Ben Addis, Zsolt Páll, Declan Hannigan, Stephen Saracco, Sarah Rickman, Wayne Brett, Panka Murányi, Emese Sarkadi-Szabo, Guizani Douraied, Jade Lopez, Anett Földi, Germaine Queen Ottley, Sába Kapás, Saruul Delgerbayar, Isabella Brett, Cintia Örvendi, Barnabás Réti
  • Director: Anthony Fabian
  • phenders-81401 - 21 February 2024
    A Fatuous Fable
    Fresh from her performance as Princess Margaret in The Crown, Lesley Manville plays another spirited woman in Mrs Harris Goes to Paris as she pursues her Cockney conquest of haute couture. Unfortunately, she is the victim of a silly, almost cringe-worthy plot. After learning of her husband's death, Ada Harris heads off to Paris the way the Clampetts head off to Beverley--for a life of conspicuous consumption. Flush with some fast cash, she is hellbent on buying a pricey Christian Dior gown like the one she saw while snooping in her wealthy employer's closet. While many evidently see her materialistic pursuit as charming, she is in fact covetous, at one point preening and simpering before a kindly, bereaved marquis. The movie would better serve as a satire on the frivolous 50s than the fond and innocent retrospective that it pretends to be.
  • t-14309 - 21 October 2023
    Sartre illustrated by Mrs. Harris
    "Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris" is a delightful 2022 movie that encapsulates the existential concepts described in Jean-Paul Sartre's 1943 book, 'Being and Nothingness.' This film, directed by Anthony Fabian and starring Lesley Manville, is a visual treat that mirrors Sartre's philosophical ideas about human existence, consciousness, and the intricate dance between being and nothingness.

    Sartre's 'Being and Nothingness' delves into the nature of human existence and the idea of existentialism. He contends that human beings are condemned to be free, meaning that we have the ability to make choices and define our own existence. However, with this freedom comes the existential anxiety and responsibility to shape our lives. "Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris" explores these existential themes through the journey of Mrs. Ada Harris, a widowed cleaning woman in post-World War II London.

    Ada's life is a mundane routine of scrubbing floors and tending to the homes of the elite. She is a prime example of Sartre's "being-in-itself," a term describing a person who lives a life of passive existence, lacking self-awareness and consciousness. Ada is trapped in her own world of nothingness, devoid of purpose or personal identity, much like how Sartre describes the pre-reflective consciousness of ordinary existence.

    However, Ada's life takes a dramatic turn when she sees a Dior dress in a client's closet and becomes obsessed with the idea of owning it. This dress, the epitome of elegance and beauty, represents a symbol of her newfound desire for authenticity and individuality. In Sartrean terms, Ada's quest for the Dior dress signifies her transition from being-in-itself to being-for-itself, from a passive existence to an active pursuit of identity and freedom.

    Sartre also explores the idea of "the look" in his philosophy, where he discusses how one's self-consciousness emerges when observed by others. In the film, Ada's desire for the Dior dress is heightened when she believes that it will transform her into someone worth noticing. Her transformation becomes a commentary on the way society's gaze shapes individual identity.

    Ada's journey to Paris in pursuit of the Dior dress mirrors Sartre's concept of "bad faith." Sartre argues that people often avoid their true freedom and responsibility by conforming to societal norms and expectations. Ada initially attempts to rationalize her quest for the dress as a service to her employer, a justification that allows her to evade her true desires and responsibility for her own life. Her journey becomes a profound exploration of bad faith and the struggle to confront her authentic self.

    As Ada navigates the world of high fashion in Paris, she confronts the "Other" as described by Sartre. The Other is the individual who observes us and influences our self-consciousness. In the world of fashion, the Other's judgment is omnipresent, and Ada's journey is a constant battle between conforming to societal norms and embracing her newfound individuality.

    Moreover, Sartre's ideas about authenticity and freedom are encapsulated in Ada's ultimate decision regarding the Dior dress. The dress represents her search for authenticity and identity, and her choice to either acquire it or relinquish it reflects her ability to make free choices and shape her existence. This choice embodies Sartre's philosophy that existence precedes essence, meaning that we define ourselves through our actions and choices.

    In conclusion, "Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris" is a compelling cinematic exploration of existential themes drawn from Jean-Paul Sartre's 'Being and Nothingness.' Through Ada's journey, the film illustrates the shift from passive existence to active self-creation, the impact of societal gaze, the concept of bad faith, and the crucial importance of individual choice in defining one's existence. This charming movie serves as a mirror to Sartre's philosophical ideas, making his complex concepts more accessible and relatable to a wider audience while celebrating the triumph of individual authenticity in the face of societal pressures.
  • kosmasp - 2 June 2023
    You deserve it
    No pun intended - and what a really great and fun story. Anything to do with underdog material - or someone dreaming seemingly bigger than what they "deserve" - in the publics eyes that is. That should be something that should not matter to you - or the character for that matter.

    On the other hand, trying to open doors or rather go through some ... it is quite difficult. And sometimes our main character does need help to do or go the next step. Like with a fashion show, which is really well shown (directed and edited that is). Acting and costumes (set design) is really top notch ... comedy and drama go hand in hand, this is really well executed, if you like a character driven, "smaller" story you found a little gem with this one.
  • epaulguest - 6 December 2022
    More than a charming fairy tale
    Lesley Manville excels in this comedy drama, which is also a charming, good-natured fairy tale - and something more.

    Ada Harris, a widowed middle-aged charwoman from Battersea, is hilarious as an 'innocent abroad' among upper-class snobs at the House of Dior in Paris. Her language itself is very funny, full of London slang with no concessions to French. She chatters almost non-stop but is treated politely by the accountant André Fauvel (Lucas Bravo) and the fashion model Natasha (Alba Baptista), who befriend her. She gets on less well, though, with Dior's manageress Madame Claudine Colbert (Isabelle Huppert), at least initially...

    In London she contrasts with her employer Lady Dant (Anna Chancellor), who keeps failing to pay her. So, to buy the Dior dress of her dreams, she relies on the football pools and betting. Thanks to more than one windfall too, she's even able to fly to Paris - in 1957.

    Her home is obviously far humbler than Lady Dant's, not to mention the House of Dior. She has two faithful friends in London, though: Vi Butterfield (Ellen Thomas) and Archie (Jason Isaacs). Their respective backgrounds, West Indian and Irish, hint at London's multiculturalism.

    Vi and another West Indian character, Chandler (Delroy Atkinson), look surprisingly welcome in the era of 'No Blacks, no dogs, no Irish' but this is best seen simply as part of the film's fairy-tale charm. With its sub-text about class differences, however, it is more than a fairy tale. Ada is a David to the Goliath of high fashion, ostentatious wealth, conspicuous consumption and class-ridden snobbery.

    Full credit to the director Anthony Fabian, the costume designer Jenny Beavan and the cast - but, above all, Lesley Manville.
  • allie701 - 12 November 2022
    Mawkish and predictable
    Maybe in the 1950's when Paul Gallico wrote this, it was clever and romantic, but there's a lot of cultural water under the bridge since then, and it was as predictable as a Hallmark movie. Despite knowing every single move Mrs. Harris made before it happened, I still found her tiresome and annoying. She only stood up for herself once in the whole 2 hour movie and even when things worked out for her, it was due to the decisions of other people, not because she took control.

    The clothes of this decade, even by such fashion icons as Dior, do not hold up well, and even when a character makes a grand entrance the impression is more dowdy than elegant. I'd like to know what other movie goers saw in this film that I missed to give it such glowing reviews. Sure glad I didn't see it in the theater .
  • tm-sheehan - 26 October 2022
    Cinderella goes to Paris
    My Review- Mrs Harris Goes to Paris

    My Rating 7/10

    A delightful movie that will probably conjure up compliments like "a real feel good movie" or my least favourite description "a women's movie " I first met Mrs Harris as a musical version when a few years ago I saw the filmed stage version titled Flowers for Mrs Harris.

    The Chichester Festival Theatre presented a revival production in 2018.

    The movie Mrs Harris Goes to Paris and the musical are both based on the 1958 American novel Mrs. 'Arris Goes to Paris by Paul Gallico.

    Personally while I really enjoyed this film and the wonderful performance from Leslie Manville as Ada Harris I preferred the warmth and pathos of the musical.

    Leslie Manville is the best part of this adaptation her characterisation of Ada Harris the widowed char lady who still chats to her late husband and works her shoe leather off for wealthy toffs who barely notice her cleaning their stately mansions is both touching and delightful.

    Set in the 1950's an age of elegant fashion Mrs Harris sees a beautiful couture Dior gown one of many in her employer Lady Dant's wardrobe and falls in love with it how on earth can she afford such a beautiful creation ?

    Go see the movie to find out it's in cinemas now .

    Mrs Harris Goes to Paris adds itself to the many versions of Cinema Cinderella stories that include Pygmalion ,My Fair Lady, Pretty Woman , Sabrina ,Ella Enchanted , Ever After a Cinderella Story, The Slipper and The Rose and Maid in Manhattan and my favourite Pocketful of Miracles starring Bette Davis etc etc.

    I mean that as a compliment as we need movies to inspire us like Mrs Harris Goes to Paris as we are bombarded with sex ,violence ,horror ,addiction, and angst . Not that I object to those genres in moderation I spend many hours reviewing them.

    I also love movies that provide great character roles for Actresses of a certain age like Leslie Manville ,Isabelle Huppert and Anna Chancellor, who are all featured in this movie .

    Mrs Harris Goes to Paris deserves the box office success it's receiving its well directed by Anthony Fabian and looks great on screen.

    I was amazed in my research to see that one of my all time favourite actresses the recently deceased Dame Angela Lansbury played Mrs Ada Arris in 1992 in a television movie titled Mrs 'Arris Goes to Paris opposite Dame Diana Rigg as Mme. Colbert and Omar Sharif as the Marquis Hippolite ,I would love to see that version.