From Audrey Hepburn in Funny Face to Anne Hathaway in The Devil Wears Prada, many a wide-eyed ingenue has come a cropper in the world of fashion on the big screen.
The notoriously highfalutin industry may have met its match, however, in the redoubtable form of a Cockney cleaning lady in Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris.
Elsewhere, Smile becomes the most chilling horror film ever to share a name with a 1990s indie pop hit (I wonder what happened to the Supernaturals?) and Charlotte Rampling proves there’s no-one quite like grandma – especially when she’s been at the gin – in Juniper.
Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris
This fun-sounding comedy drama showcases a rare big screen leading role for the great Lesley Manville (seen most recently in the hit BBC show Sherwood), who stars here as a widowed cleaning lady who dreams of owning a piece of prime Parisian haute couture.
When Ada Harris (Manville) sees a Dior dress in her client’s bedroom, she becomes determined to buy herself one of the French designer’s iconic creations, and sets about raising funds for a trip to, you guessed it, Paris.
Once there, in the time-honoured tradition of the plucky underdog, she must overcome formidable obstacles in the pursuit of her dream – not least the disdain of Dior’s snobbish director Mme. Colbert (Isabelle Huppert) – while making plenty of new friends among the locals, including shy accountant André (Lucas Bravo, Emily in Paris) and the debonair Marquis de Chassagne (Lambert Wilson, aka The Matrix’s Merovingian), with whom the prospect of romance seems to beckon.
The countdown to Halloween begins with this creepy horror, which follows in the slow, sinister footsteps of The Ring and It Follows as a young woman tries to outrun a deadly curse.
After witnessing a traumatic incident involving one of her patients, Dr. Rose Cotter (Sosie Bacon – daughter of superfast broadband enthusiast Kevin) finds herself plagued by terrifying visions, and discovers she is being pursued by an evil entity which contorts the faces of its victims into a chilling, twisted grin.
In order to save herself, Rose must dig deep into her own troubled past in this debut feature from director Parker Finn, spun off from his 2020 short Laura Hasn’t Slept, the title character of which appears briefly at the start of this film – no prizes for guessing why she doesn’t get to hang around…
A grieving teenager finds himself thrown together with his cantankerous grandmother in this darkly comic New Zealand drama.
Expelled from his boarding school, Sam (George Ferrier) arrives home to find that his wheelchair-bound English grandmother Ruth (Charlotte Rampling) has moved in.
A hard-drinking ex-war-photographer, the acerbic Ruth is hardly the ideal houseguest – and while you don’t have to have seen The Nan Movie (thank god) to guess how this odd-couple relationship might play out, reviews suggest that Rampling’s imperious performance is worth the price of admission alone.
With expectations high for the reunion of Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson in The Banshees of Inisherin next month, there’s a chance to see their much-loved first collaboration with director Martin McDonagh on the big screen again this week.
You can catch up with their pair of bickering hitmen hiding out In Bruges at Everyman on Sun 2nd – it’s showing as part of their Throwback season, with a complimentary drink and pizza or hot dog included.
Another cinematic comeback kid is celebrated over at City Screen, where they’re paving the way for Oldboy director Park Chan-wook’s forthcoming new thriller Decision to Leave with a screening of his most recent feature, 2016’s erotic psychodrama The Handmaiden, on Sun 2nd.
City Screen also have a screening of new Hong Kong romantic comedy Far Far Away on Sun 2nd, following the adventures of ‘a mediocre but warm-hearted introvert’ (definitely cadging that one for my online dating profile) who finds himself the object of affection for five attractive women who all live in different far-flung corners of the city.
More amorous metropolitan shenanigans are afoot in The Night Is Short, Walk On Girl, a 2017 Japanese anime from acclaimed director Yuasa Masaaki which follows a gang of teens on a night out in Kyoto – you can catch it at City Screen on Mon 3rd.
On the same night, City Screen are also showing new British drama In From the Side, which sees two members of a gay rugby club embark on a clandestine affair, with potentially disastrous consequences for themselves and their team.
It’s the end of the road for Frodo and the gang over at Vue as The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King concludes their epic quest on Fri 30th and Sat 1st, while the curtains fall on another cinematic saga (for now, at least) as Vue’s James Bond season comes full circle with No Time to Die (Sat 1st), almost a year to the day after Daniel Craig’s surprisingly poignant swansong first hit the big screen.
Meanwhile, water-sports fans may want to head down to Vue on Thurs 6th for the International Ocean Film Tour Volume 8, a compilation of five short films covering all things wet and wild, from deep sea diving to glacier abseiling.
Shrek is your budget family-friendly offering at City Screen on Sat 1st (tickets £3.00), while Cineworld are showing The Railway Children Return (Sat 1st/Sun 2nd, £2.50) and Vue are blasting into space with Lightyear (Sat 1st/Sun 2nd, £2.49) – you can also catch the latter in Everyman’s Toddler Club on Sun 2nd (tickets £8.20).
And finally, Vue’s Pixar season concludes in fine style with The Incredibles (Sat 1st/Sun 2nd/Tues 4th, tickets £6.99 – £9.99) – the film which demonstrated the need for both style and practicality in superhero costume design. Mrs. Harris would surely approve.