Currently on Digital and coming to Bluray/DVD this week from director Anthony Fabian and Universal Pictures Home Entertainment is a trip as MRS. HARRIS GOES TO PARIS.
Widower Mrs. Ada Harris (Leslie Manville) is living in 1957 London as a housekeeper. Along with friends Vi (Ellen Thomas) and Archie (Jason Isaacs), she wonders about the possibility of more and looks for signs. So, its visiting with friends to have a few drinks, laugh and back to work with another client, the young Pamela Penrose (Rose Williams).
Until one day, while cleaning the apartment of Lady Dant (Anna Chancellor), she sees the most beautiful and wonderous dress. Looking at the label she sees the dress is a Christian Dior learning that Dant bought it instead of paying Mrs. Harris’ back wages. Yet, the seed of haute couture has been planted.
She gets the idea to make a plan to go to Paris and buy her own dress! Her plans start out well and then fall flat much to the dismay of Vi and Archie. Then, the hand of fate steps in and the housekeeper see a possibility for her dream.
Off to France, she immediately heads toward Dior to find that special dress. Along the way she helps the very sweet Natasha (Alba Baptista), and Mrs. Harris finds herself inside the doors of Dior. Horrified by her presence, Director Claudine Colbert (Isabelle Hupert) tries to get rid of her before the fashion show. Seeing all this, the Marquis de Chassagne (Lambert Wilson) steps in and offers his second seat to Mrs. Harris.
Watching all of this take place is Andre Fauvel (Lucas Bravo) and Marguerite (Roxane Duran) and as the show starts, Mrs. Harris is captivated by everything that comes in her view. The dress that takes her breath away is one called “Temptress”. But someone is going to make sure she does not get it.
Instead, Mrs. Harris settles for another stunning dress and her life in Paris takes so many twists and turns. Friendships, an understanding of life, fittings, and most of all, remembering what it means to believe in oneself and settle for nothing less brings Mrs. Harris more joy than she could have imagined. That and one more chance at the dream of haute couture!
Manville as Mrs. Harris is everything fantastic with her joy, sorrow, friendships, care and an English square peg in love with French haute couture, whether they like it or not. Every frame she is in is an unveiling of a part of her life she never knew could be possible. Wilson as the Marquis sees something wonderful in Mrs. Harris but there is a bit of class misunderstanding.
Hupert as Claudine is a woman who is as tough as nails. She wants nothing to do with Mrs. Harris and certainly does not want her at Dior under any circumstances. Yet, something is happening inside the sewing rooms of Dior and can not understand why. That being said, Hupert never lets us in to understand Claudine until absolutely necessary, which goes to show the strength of her portrayal.
Baptista as Natasha is a girl who also feels as if she is living out of place. Mrs. Harris offers her friendship so freely and wants her new friend to be happy. Bravo as Andre is a young man wanting to save the worries of Dior but feels that his words and plan would fall on deaf ears. Duran as Margaruite is just as adorable as she wants to be and completely taken with Mrs. Harris, then again that is a running theme with almost everyone she meets!
Isaacs as Archie is charming and sweet with a feeling of concern for Mrs. Harris. Watching her try to live outside the box she has put herself in, he watches and sees what she is truly capable of. Thomas as Vi is that ride or die best friend and she wants to be there for Mrs. Harris because, lets face it, if it can happen for her friend, anything is possible.
Other cast includes ertrand Poncet as Monsieur Carre, Christian McKay as Giles Newcombe, Freddie Fox as RAF Officer, Guilaine Londez as Madame Avallon, Dorottya Ilsvai as Mathilde Avallon, Delroy Atkinson as Chandler, Vincent Martin as Michel Simon and Philippe Bertin as Christian Dior.
Universal Pictures Home Entertainment has just added an amazing film to their library and making it available for us to all experience and re-experience in our own home theaters. There are films of every genre available from scary to drama to family films. For more of what they have to offer please visit www.uphe.com.
Exclusive Bonus Features on Digital, Bluray and DVD include Deleted and Extended Scenes with Ada Rushes Toward the Metro, Ada Wants to Speak to Andre, Full Cabaret and Gag Reel.
MRS. HARRIS GOES TO PARIS is just, well, delightful. Seeing the struggles of this character and the wording she puts on herself is like an emotional anvil that she only let’s lift from time to time when she looks for signs. The pain of her husband and how she believes she should be treated are in a sense relatable for many.
It is only when fate steps in does she begin to see that her dreams are perhaps possible but that does not mean there will not be obstacles in her way. From judgement and the ridiculous belief that some are better than others, Mrs. Harris has her work cut out – literally. But an odd thing begins to happen, Mrs. Harris finds her voice and Paris is listening while wearing art.
MRS. HARRIS GOES TO PARIS is fun, flirty and in your face. We cannot, for one moment, forget about the fantastic haute couture because – oh my goodness – it is easy to see why Mrs. Harris fell so hard. From the first Dior dress in Lady Dant’s house to the dress of her dreams – everything in between was stunning. As a fan of period pieces and costuming, this film was my dream!
In the end – follow your dream!