A couture dress brings a made-to-order dream with it. So watching Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris is like stepping through a portal in time - not back to the 1950s, the movie's setting, but to the 1990s, when sweet natured, visually resplendent pictures like this were plentiful.

In this adaptation of a popular 1958 novel by Paul Gallico, kind-hearted London cleaning woman Ada Harris [ Lesley Manville], a war widow, falls in love with client's swoon worthy Christian Dior gown and vows to buy one for herself, even though the price is far beyond her means.

With some luck, she scrapes the money to gather and treks to Paris, where she's at first rebuffed by the master's right-hand woman [ a frosty chick Isabelle Huppert ], only to win over everyone at the house with her forthright warmth.

This is a story about following one's dreams and then learning there's a lesson attached to those dreams  - you might catch more than a perfume whiff of sanctimoniousness here.

But it's rare to find movies that value the mere idea of beauty, and this one - directed by Anthony Fabian - does so unapologetically.

For many of us, the words 1950 couture fashion show are tantamount to summoning a cat with '' Here-kitty-kitty, '' and Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris does not disappoint : the film was made with Dior's cooperation, and the featured garments are so gorgeously detailed, you might wish to examine them at close range.

Manville's performance has a similar understated elegance. Her Ada is uncompromising not just in her fashion sense but in also defining her own happiness.

If she has all the twinkling charm of the Eiffel Tower, she also stands just as proud. 

In the end, Ada creates her own enchantment. The dress is just a red herring - albeit a gorgeous one. [S.Z.]

The World Students Society thanks Time Magazine.


Post a Comment

Grace A Comment!