Fashion is a passion in ‘Mrs. Harris goes to Paris

“Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris” bears fairytale ambition on its finely tailored sleeves.

The film, adapted from a Paul Gallico novel and adding an “H” to the title, follows a woman who seems unlucky in life but on whom fate always smiles. Almost like something magical is happening.

This is more than a riff on “Cinderella” for which multiple references can be discerned. It’s a celebration of fashion; a film that bathes in the stylistic decadence of post-war Europe and presents the worship of threads as an optical aphrodisiac.

It’s Britain in 1957. In the first act, director and co-writer Anthony Fabian deals quite intensively with the suffering of post-war Europe. Ada Harris (Lesley Manville) cleans up after the rich. Some of their customers are nice enough; all are self-obsessed and vain.

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