Yesterday evening, Vogue and Focus Features hosted a special Screening of Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris, with director Anthony Fabian alongside stars Alba Baptista and Jason Isaacs. The celebratory Parisian-themed soiree took place at the Whitby Hotel. Attendees entered the elegant lobby and were ushered downstairs into the Whitby’s private screening room and cocktail bar. Before the screening, guests eagerly gathered their popcorn and sweets while sipping Champagne. Bouquets of white lilies, roses, hydrangeas, and light green hanging amaranthus inspired by the film decorated each room.
“One of the things that make Mrs. Harris such an appealing character is her authenticity. She’s not pretending to be somebody else. She’s completely who she is, unapologetic, and not wearing a mask. Everyone around her who is wearing a mask eventually responds to her authentically by removing their masks,” director Anthony Fabian told Vogue.
Viewers can’t help but champion Lesley Manville’s portrayal of the endearing Mrs. Ada Harris, a widowed London housekeeper with an unwavering willingness to pursue her dream. While working at one of her wealthiest and rudest clients’ homes, Ada falls in love with a gorgeous custom Dior gown. She aims to travel to Paris to purchase her own Dior dress, to celebrate her work and hard-earned savings. The movie’s themes touch upon good karma, the power of kindness, and perseverance. In a film’s world of exclusivity, insurmountable wealth, and sometimes downright snobbiness, Manville’s working-class Ada Harris makes waves in the industry and social class systems around her.
“I think the film, in many ways, it’s a disruptive film because it’s the notion that living your life with an open heart and generosity will breed that in people around you. Lesley’s character, Ada Harris, who’s at the film’s heart, is the catalyst for people discovering the best in themselves,” Jason Isaacs told Vogue. “The size of her heart is such that she can’t stop doing things for other people. This story is about her journey to discover the power she has, and that she needs to be as kind, loving, and generous to herself as she is to other people.”
Another one of the friendly faces Mrs. Harris meets during her journey is Baptisa’s character Natasha, the beautiful and intelligent model growing wary of her role as the face of the fashion house. “Fashion is freedom of expression for us. It’s a unifying nature within this industry. Still, it can also separate people into different categories,” Baptista told Vogue, stunning in a white floor-length Dior gown. “Mrs. Harris comes to disrupt everything, and that’s a beautiful message of unity instead of judgment.”