There’s a Paddington-y loveliness to Anthony Fabian’s adaptation of Paul Gallico’s 1958 novel. It takes place in a world the place every little thing is simplistic, good guys all the time win and unhappiness might be shortly banished with a chirpy one-liner and a pleasant cup of tea. Like that movie, its storybook world is so properly drawn and its sense of humour so infectious that it’s close to not possible to not fall for its upbeat charms.
The plot is a fragile whisp of a factor: in 1957, Ada Harris (Lesley Manville) is a widowed cleaner who asks little or no from the world. At some point, whereas tidying the wardrobe of an extravagant consumer (an enjoyably haughty Anna Chancellor), Mrs Harris comes face-to-bodice with a Christian Dior robe. It’s instantaneous love. The world turns to comfortable focus. She will need to have one in every of her personal, regardless that they value £500. As soon as she’s discovered the cash, Mrs Harris heads to Paris and delights many of the metropolis along with her salt-of-the-earth cheer.
Lesley Manville performs Harris as a girl who stays cheerful by means of power of will.
The movie has huge enjoyable with Harris finding out the world of high fashion in the identical manner she may straighten up a lounge. She marches well into Dior, calling their luxurious creations “frocks” and sending everybody right into a tizz. The Parisian solid are a set of clichés. A mannequin uninterested in being only a fairly face. An unfeasibly good-looking, Sartre-reading accountant who’s shyly in love with mentioned mannequin. A tailor who shrieks “C’est not possible!” or comparable each time Mrs Harris seems in his workroom. They couldn’t be extra cartoonishly French in the event that they arrived at work on bicycles with a string of onions spherical their neck — but the script isn’t mocking them, exhibiting limitless affection for these sketches. As do the actors — particularly Isabelle Huppert, withering all earlier than her as Dior’s supervisor.
All this gorgeous puff is securely anchored by a wonderful Lesley Manville. She performs Harris as a girl who stays cheerful by means of power of will. Life retains making an attempt to knock her over however she refuses to budge. Mrs Harris’ little journey and her dream could also be foolish, however this beautiful movie treats that silliness as a commendable purpose. When every little thing’s grim why not dream of a bit silliness?