The magic and illusion of ‘Cinderella’ are transformed into ‘Mrs Harris’s trip to Paris’. The romantic comedy, which opens in theaters this December 9tells the endearing story of a middle-aged cleaning woman living in London who dreams of wearing a dress designed by Christian Dior himself in 1950s Paris. A film that “shows the importance of having protagonists of a certain age”. “We need female characters over 50 and with stories centered on them”defends Lesley Manville.
In post-World War II London, Ada Harris (Manville) cleans houses for a living. She has felt very lonely since loving husband Eddie went missing in action in Germany. Despite this, she seeks to look to the future with optimism. pragmatic in nature, the woman will end up in love with a wonderful and incredible Christian Dior dress, which she sees hanging in the bedroom of one of her employers. Since then, Ada, who is over 60 years old, has had a dream: to get one of those dresses. Thus, will work tirelessly to travel to Paris and wear authentic haute couture design. An experience that will go further and that will allow Ada to live a second youth.
A story based on the homonymous novel by Paul Gallico, which narrates, with a kind look, a beautiful story starring a 60-year-old woman, something unusual in the film industry. “It is very important to see women like Ada in the cinema. We need more films with leading women my age, at all levels”, defends Lesley Manville in an interview with eCartelerapointing out that you also have to see more feature films “about someone who has to lose, who gets up and achieves something”. “Someone from a social class you wouldn’t expect to achieve”add.
“For me it is essential to bet on this type of protagonists. They are women that we don’t often see on the front lines. Several of them, upon reaching a certain age, think that their lives have come to an end. It is very important to show a protagonist who feels that she still has many chapters to tell in her life. Above all, in the love aspect, because there is the prejudice that when a woman is widowed or divorced at a certain age, she no longer has a chance to rebuild her life, thing is a lie. I wanted to create a character that gives himself that chance to love again and want to have a partner”exposes Anthony Fabian, director and co-writer of the film.
A journey through the charm and elegance of Paris in the 50s
A feature film, with the soul of quality feel-good cinema and pedigree, which innovates not only by betting on a female protagonist of a certain age, but also with her secondary characters, as in the case of André Fauvel, the young heartthrob played by the Frenchman Lucas Bravo. “It is important to show that we are no longer in a toxic masculinity and that we can see a male character who is vulnerable and quite introverted. Yes, he falls in love with one of the most beautiful women in the House of Dior, but what he falls in love with is her look, her personality, her ideas. He feels reflected in her, they are two souls that do not fully fit into that world of fashion, they are fragile. It goes far beyond the concept of beauty“defends the interpreter.
Also ‘Mrs. Harris’ trip to Paris’ is an opportunity to rediscover the magic and charm of the French capital in the 50sa moment of beginning of economic splendor. “We have a certain fascination with the era, at least I do. For example, in the 50s, in France, we are living the Glorious Thirty, also called the Economic Expansion that occurred after the Second World War. There is a great desire to rebuild everything This was also reflected in the styling. The 50s is the decade of the New Look, of the search for the purity of the lines, with bright and fascinating colours. When we see productions from those years, we feel that it is very beautiful”explains Lambert Wilson. The French actor plays the aristocratic Marquis de Chassagne in the film.
It is also an opportunity to rediscover this type of cinema away from the blockbuster or art-house mega-production concept, designed for a middle-aged audience, orphaned by titles with a commercial focus in recent years, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. “Right now, we need a kind of film like ‘Mrs Harris’s Trip to Paris’, charming and feel-good, with a touch of a fairy tale, of evasion. We’ve had a horrible couple of years and not everyone wants to go see big action or visual effects productions. There is also interest and appetite for films like this to enjoy in the cinema, because it is committed to a type of public to which it has received less attention“defends Manville.
Directed by Anthony Fabian, who co-wrote the film with Carroll Cartwright, Keith Thompson and Olivia Hetreed, ‘Mrs Harris’s Trip to Paris’ stars Lesley Manville. Also participating are Isabelle Huppert, Lambert Wilson, Ellen Thomas, Jason Isaacs, Lucas Bravo, Alba Baptista, Rose Williams, Anne Chancellor, Guilaine Londez, Christian McKay, Freddie Fox, Roxane Duran and Philippe Bertin as Christian Dior. With music by Rael Jones and produced by Anthony Fabian, Xavier Marchand and Guillaume Benski. A co-production between the United Kingdom, France and Hungary. An eOne Features, Superbe Films, Moonriver Content and Hero Squared production. Available in theaters from this December 9, from the hand of Universal Pictures.