• Network: HBO
  • Series Premiere Date: Feb 25, 2006
  • Season #: 1
Metascore
70

Generally favorable reviews - based on 21 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 21
  2. Negative: 1 out of 21
  1. 100
    Scene by scene, "Mrs. Harris" overcomes the rote nature of true crime stories.
  2. 100
    The tone here can be offputtingly strange: brittle, flinty yet over the top. [20 Feb 2006, p.37]
  3. Their dance of love and rejection, of giddiness and bitterness, is a warped waltz, and Kingsley and Bening clearly relish every step.
  4. Entertaining... What [Nagy] has done is tailor this tabloid material to several different narrative tastes, which alternate as the movie shifts from love affair to temper tantrum to gunfire to murder trial and back again.
  5. 80
    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.
  6. 80
    Annette Bening is stunning in this smart biopic.
  7. Reviewed by: Diane Werts
    80
    "Mrs. Harris" unfolds with a basic playfulness that keeps the mood light even as the story becomes dark indeed.
  8. 75
    Simultaneously appealing and rather sadly appalling, "Mrs. Harris" gets at the messy truth of it all in a distinctively mischievous manner.
  9. Jean appears to have liked humiliation... Such masochism is hard to watch, even with a stellar cast. [24 Feb 2006, p.58]
  10. Bening provides the spark that drives "Mrs. Harris," keeping its darkly funny irony from degenerating into campy humor.
  11. Addicting, like watching a really grimy train wreck, this sorry, sordid tale of Harris' obsessive love and descent into prescription pill addiction is icy, ironic and typically HBO in the frankness of its sex talk.
  12. Reviewed by: Daryl H. Miller
    70
    It's a psychologically rich study of love's mutability, presented in a boldly stylized, darkly comic manner.
  13. The constant toing-and-froing of “Mrs. Harris” might have gotten tiresome, as an earlier HBO effort at revisionist biography, “The Life and Death of Peter Sellers,” did. Bening, though, is somehow able to conjure up a completely new mood for each time and setting.
  14. "Mrs. Harris" is interesting but not intimate. It's cold, aloof and distant, much like the relationship it depicts between the principal characters.
  15. 63
    Since I myself am a sucker for a true-crime cheesefest, I was loving this movie until I was rudely reminded by my friend Denise that, "This is neither good sleaze nor serious true crime! It's half a satire, and half a true crime movie!"
  16. In this version, Mrs. Harris, at times appealing, at other times brittle and censorious, is hard to fathom.
  17. 60
    While the film could not be called a rollicking success, it seldom if ever pauses long enough to be ordinary, complacent or conventionally minded.
  18. 50
    The costumes are gorgeous, the sets are time-period gems, and the actors are among the best.... But the story to which they've been appended is hollow. It's like an exquisitely wrapped empty box.
  19. Reviewed by: Matt Roush
    50
    The movie's fun to watch, but also rather hollow, reminding me of last season's HBO movie The Life and Death of Peter Sellers. Both are well acted but with such obvious stories to tell they soon grow tiresome.
  20. Nagy's showy ventures in stylization, the raucous jokiness substituted for story are heavy encumbrances for this tale.
User Score
8.2

Universal acclaim- based on 11 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 10
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 10
  3. Negative: 1 out of 10
  1. JackK
    Jan 19, 2007
    10
    Excellent acting, writing, directing. Complicated, funny, asks difficult questions. Should have won all the tv movie awards this year.
  2. Lori
    Aug 5, 2006
    10
    Refreshingly complex. Brilliant performances. This film does not spell out the motivations and intentions of its characters: the viewer must Refreshingly complex. Brilliant performances. This film does not spell out the motivations and intentions of its characters: the viewer must think and wonder while watching. If only more films would assume that the viewer is up to that task! Full Review »
  3. marcelaf
    Mar 12, 2006
    9
    Would have liked knowing the grounds for clemancy.