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|Index||30 reviews in total|
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Saw this during HBO's free weekend preview. All I can say is that with
obnoxious twits like Bill Maher, Bryant Gumbel and Robert Wuhl, HBO
needs all the suckers - uh, sorry - subscribers they can get!
I don't know how much of "Mrs. Harris" is true, but I couldn't muster anything remotely resembling pity for the woman. If it isn't true, she should go after Phyllis Nagy for this clunker, because she and the Good Doctor here are utterly despicable creatures. Dissing Hy's ("My first Jew!") wandering eye in front of Momma? Oy!
Knowing what a truly narcissistic jerk Warren Beatty is (as those who saw his speech at the Oscars a few years back can attest), I understand Annette Bening wanting to do something - anything - to get out of the house! Once, she was on her way to a brilliant career, but, alas, seems to have settled for playing shrill harpies.
I thought it was interesting, and I loved Annett Bening's work in it. Without it, there wouldn't be much to the movie. The line when she tells him to stop hurting so many women and just hurt her, is worthy of awards in itself. If there was any issue, it was with the writing. There was a lack of completion. I think it's because they really only have Jean Harris' account of what happened. I never believe people when they say that they were trying to kill themselves, but killed another person by accident, and were never able to kill themselves. But sometimes you have to sympathize with women who are mistreated so callously. I feel like their life was very much like it was portrayed: crazy. 8/10. Some good HBO Entertainment.
Without giving away a delightful surprise, the first music you hear
when this exercise in cinematic brilliance opens will - if you're
already familiar with the Scarsdale Diet Doctor saga - make you gasp,
then titter, then sit forward in your seat, determined not to miss one
second of this masterpiece.
I didn't expect much, really. Another of Annette Bening's star turns, I thought, still annoyed that she got gypped out of the Oscar last year for "Being Julia." But, I figured, Mrs. Harris was a local - we live in Northern Virginia - and so we went to see it at the Toronto Film Festival.
Here's what: I want to see it again, the day it opens, and then I want to buy the soundtrack CD, and then I want to own a dozen copies of the DVD, simply because this is a movie with such a compelling story, told in the most remarkable narrative, with a cast that defies all description.
If, as one person here commented, HBO is thinking of releasing it on TV, I would say that that would be a HUGE mistake, since it's a BIG BIG BIG movie that needs a BIG BIG BIG screen. Remember Norma Desmond's famous line? Well, don't make these big actors work on the small screen.
The writer/director, Phyllis Nagy, I am told, has never written or directed a movie before. Well, where has this brilliant beauty been? I tell you, I'll just go and see anything this woman works on, because this is genius, this was a breathtaking and riveting experience, and I KNEW HOW IT ENDED! Imagine that. Even though I remembered the whole story quite well, I hung onto each frame, each second, as if the fate of world depended on it. Ms. Nagy is a national treasure, whoever she is, and I wish I knew her, because I would give her a big hug and a kiss and I would tell her to run, not to walk, and start writing another movie, directing another movie, delivering another work of genius to a grateful and joyous public.
Absolutely unbelievable film, "Mrs. Harris." Kudo, Ms. Nagy.
To a viewer unfamiliar with the past works of Annette Bening and (Sir)
Ben Kingsley, one might think they were terrible actors based solely on
The performances by Bening and Kingsley seemed over emphasized and over acted. Knowing their abilities, I can only assume that their performance style was intentional and is integral to the story. With that in mind, I have a very different appreciation for Mrs. Harris than I would have as a 'first-time' viewer of Bening and Kingsley.
The film took on an almost bad 'made-for-TV' docu-drama feel - again, I hope and expect this was an intentional move by newcomer screenwriter/director Phyllis Nagy.
This isn't another Being Julia, American Beauty, or Sexy Beast, but if you're a Bening and/or Kingsley fan, check it out. I suspect you'll draw the same conclusions that I did regarding the performance style and it's meaning.
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