Tea with Mussolini

1999

Tea with Mussolini

Critics Consensus

Tea with Mussolini contains few surprises, but this amiably ambling drama is too likable -- and well-cast -- to completely resist.

66%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 35

76%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 7,684
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Movie Info

Taken from a chapter in the autobiography of acclaimed filmmaker Franco Zeffirelli, TEA WITH MUSSOLINI is written by British novelist and playwright John Mortimer and Zeffirelli, drawing on the latter's published memoirs. The film tells of Luca Innocenti (born out of wedlock and not officially recognized by his father) and his struggle to assert his independence and find his way into a life of art. The coming-of-age tale is also a haunting evocation of a vanished world: that of the quiet city of Florence on the brink of World War II. Judi Dench, Joan Plowright and Maggie Smith portray the eccentric, colorful and strong-willed ladies - called the "Scorpioni" for their biting wit - who, along with a free-spirited American art collector (Cher) and archeologist (Lily Tomlin), raise the youth and fashion him, though Italian, into "a perfect British gentleman."

Cast

Critic Reviews for Tea with Mussolini

All Critics (35) | Top Critics (7) | Fresh (23) | Rotten (12)

Audience Reviews for Tea with Mussolini

  • May 27, 2011
    Three Grande Dames of the British stage and film (Maggie Smith, Judi Dench, and Joan Plowright) come together, along with Americans Cher and Lily Tomlin to power this tale of a group of British ex-pats and their brash American friends trying to preserve their way of life in Italy just before the Second World War. The acting is superb, and the story, based on actual events as remembered by the director, Franco Zeffirelli, is spellbinding. Maggie Smith can do imperious. And she does it brilliantly here. Yet she does have a tender side when the chips are down. Joan Plowright proves to be the heart and soul of the film however and more than holds her own beside the other two. The story bears a slight similarity to that of Paradise Road, but without the despair and brutality of that other story, from the Japanese theater of the war. This viewer really enjoyed this.
    Mark A Super Reviewer
  • Sep 10, 2007
    True story about a group of women bonded together by their situation during World War II. Excellent cast. Beautiful scenery.
    Candy R Super Reviewer
  • Aug 10, 2007
    A lighter view of a dark time. Pretty enjoyable.
    Sunil J Super Reviewer
  • Apr 23, 2007
    There were some really great characters, and a fantastic cast. It's a true story, but the way it was made, parts of it were quite dull.
    Valerie G Super Reviewer

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