Love Hurts
Mrs. Harris
Review by Ross Anthony

I caught this HBO Movie on HBO as it turns out. Based on a true story, the film begins with one portrayal of the tragic death of Dr. Herman Tarnower, and ends with another portrayal. Statements from the trial are used as springboards into the retelling of events that lead up to that fatality. Murder or accidental death -- the film leaves that call up to you, though history states that Mrs. Harris was found guilty.

As someone unfamiliar with the real event, I didn't appreciate that the first scene tells me that this unconventional love story ended in death. However, taken on the whole, it's interesting these two portrayals sandwiching the film like sliced bread -- or more appropriately -- bookends. I did feel that the testimony on the stand felt a bit manipulative. By that I mean it was completely used as a tool to tell the story and not to show balanced arguments. Though, I don't know the truth of the matter, I got the feeling it was tweaked a bit too, for shock value. Also, I find it hard to believe she wouldn't have been briefed by her lawyer that he was going to ask that suicide question.

Both Benning and Kingsley (who were the reasons I watched the film in the first place) give respectable performances. But after their incredible efforts in "Sexy Beast" (Kingsley) and "American Beauty" (Benning) among other films, here, they don't raise their own bars.

The story is interesting, their characters interesting, and while never boring, the picture never greatly impresses nor has much in the way of insight.

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  • Mrs. Harris. Copyright © 2005.
  • Starring Annette Bening, Ben Kingsley, Frances Fisher, Philip Hall Baker.
  • Directed by Phyllis Nagy.
  • Screenplay by Phyllis Nagy. Inspired by the book by Shana Alexander.
  • Produced by Elizabeth Karlsen, Pamela Koffler, Christine Vachon, John Wells at HBO/ Killer Films/Number 9 films.

Grade..........................B (2/4)

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Copyright © 1998-2022 Ross Anthony, Author - Speaker - Solo World Circumnavigator In addition to reviewing films and interviewing celebs at, traveling the world, composing great music, motivational speaking, Mr. Anthony also runs his own publishing company in the Los Angeles area. While traversing the circumference of the planet writing books and shooting documentaries, Mr. Anthony has taught, presented for, worked &/or played with locals in over 30 countries & 100 cities (Nairobi to Nagasaki). He's bungee-jumped from a bridge near Victoria Falls, wrestled with lions in Zimbabwe, crashed a Vespa off a high mountain road in Taiwan, and ridden a dirt bike across the States (Washington State to Washington DC). To get signed books ("Rodney Appleseed" to "Jinshirou") or schedule Ross to speak check out: or call 1-800-767-7186. Go into the world and inspire the people you meet with your love, kindness, and whatever it is you're really good at. Check out books by Ross Anthony. Rand() functions, Pho chicken soup, rollerblading, and frozen yogurt (w/ blueberries) also rock! (Btw, rand is short for random. It can also stand for "Really Awkward Nutty Dinosaurs" -- which is quite rand, isn't it?) Being alive is the miracle. Special thanks to Ken Kocanda, HAL, Jodie Keszek, Don Haderlein, Mom and Pops, my family, R. Foss, and many others by Ross Anthony. Galati-FE also deserves a shout out. And thanks to all of you for your interest and optimism. Enjoy great films, read stirring novels, grow.

Last Modified: Saturday, 16-Sep-2006 08:03:50 PDT