Chicago Sun Times
“ Mrs. Harris gives us characters rarely portrayed in film or TV.”
“Annette Bening is resplendent as Jean, and I never use that word. Ben Kingsley, so often the loud heavy in movies, is powerfully relaxed as Hy. They are genuine together, as in a near wordless scene when their eyes meet for love at first sight.”
Mrs. Harris gives us characters rarely portrayed in film or TV.
“Needless to say, this kind of brittlely accurate performance is something to watch in the hands of an actress like Bening, who seems incapable — even during the film’s most blackly humorous moments — of a false, Fatal Attraction–like note. Having recently given us one of the movies’ most thrillingly enjoyable portraits of wronged divahood in Being Julia — where glorious self-absorption was the cure-all — here she exquisitely dramatizes a thinking woman unable to escape that special mental prison reserved for a certain brand of devoted girlfriend, caught in a brutal internal tug-of-war between ladylike decorum and combustible despondency. Bening’s slow-motion slide from airy joy to destructiveness to, in the courtroom scenes, a kind of catching-up dignity with sunglasses as a crutch, is like watching the formation of a wrinkle on a happy face. Mrs. Harris is, in the end, the tale of someone getting older but not wiser: “Stop focusing on hurting so many women and focus on just hurting me,” she dryly says to Hy at one point, with just enough self-awareness to make the comment sting and deflate.
Thanks to Bening, the movie zeroes in on the nagging irony of Jean Harris’ life: that she was bold enough to leave a failed marriage at a time when only the strongest of women did so, yet was tragically stymied by a philandering boyfriend.”
February 15, 2006
It isn’t possible to imagine a better choice for Jean Harris
New York Magazine
“It isn’t possible to imagine a better choice for Jean Harris.”
February 27, 2006