Tea With Mussolini

"Excellent"

Tea With Mussolini Review


When I walked into the theater to see this film, I thought to myself, "Why am I seeing this movie? I have no interest in seeing it and I won't like it." Surly enough during the first ten minutes of the film, my preconceived notion was correct. It was a 'chick flick', case closed. But then the movie turned and started to appeal to me. I was really getting into it, and really absorbing the true story it was unfolding.

Tea with Mussolini focuses on the life of a boy named Luca, who is director Franco Zefferelli's alter ego. In Florence 1935, young Luca's mother is dead, and he is an orphan. Although Lucas wealthy father lives near by, he has no time for children. The father's English secretary Mary Wallace (Joan Plowright) sees the unjust way Luca is being raised in the orphanage. As a result she takes him in. Along with Mary's group of English tea time friends known as The Scorpioni, Luca is taught many things. He learns to appreciate art through the nutty, yet lovable artist Arabella (Dame Judi Dench). He learns of Shakespeare and culture from his guardian Mary, and learns how to behave as a gentleman through the other members of The Scorpioni.

Soon enters the rich American art collector, Elsa (Cher) who is linked to The Scorpioni though Georgie (Lily Tomlin) a lesbian art excavator. Elsa, who once knew Luca's mother, owes her money for clothes she would make. Elsa then hears that Luca's mother has since died. However, being a woman of extreme kindness, she offers to put the money she owes toward Luca's future.

At this point things are looking good. But as the years pass the war begins to swell. The German and Italian forces join, and declare the English are the enemy. Since all the members of The Scopioni are English, this mandate affects them greatly. I don't want to go any further with the movies plot, because number one, there are many little subplots and it is quite complicated to explain on paper, and number two I wouldn't want to give anything away. But I will say one last thing that may put you, the moviegoer at ease, the dog doesn't die (see it and you'll know what I mean).

I admirably recommend Tea with Mussolini; it is moving and clever. And to my surprise fairly humorous. The writer (John Mortimer) does an excellent job at throwing in a good collection of chuckles, without cheapening the seriousness of the movie. The performances and characters are also wonderful; they leave nothing to be desired. One character that I really liked was Lily Tomlin's art excavator, Georgie. Her crack up wry sense of humor really shines through. Another thing I'd like to point out was the phenomenal Costuming (Carlo Centolauigna, Gioia Fiorella Mariani) and Art Direction (Anna Anni, Jenny Beavan, Alberto Spiazzi), both of these elements captured the time and mood of the piece.

Do YOU belieeeeeve?



Tea With Mussolini

Facts and Figures

Run time: 117 mins

In Theaters: Friday 14th May 1999

Budget: $12M

Distributed by: MGM/UA

Production compaines: Cattleya, Cineritmo, Film and General Productions, Medusa Produzione

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 65%
Fresh: 22 Rotten: 12

IMDB: 6.9 / 10

Cast & Crew

Starring: as Elsa Armistan, as Lady Hester Random, as Arabella, as Georgie Rockwell, as Mary Wallace, Paolo Seganti as Vittorio Fanfanni

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Murder on the Orient Express Movie Review

Murder on the Orient Express Movie Review

The latest adaptation of Agatha Christie's 83-year-old classic whodunit, this lavish, star-studded film is old-style...

Paddington 2 Movie Review

Paddington 2 Movie Review

The first Paddington movie in 2014 is already such a beloved classic that it's hard...

A Bad Moms Christmas Movie Review

A Bad Moms Christmas Movie Review

Everyone's back from last year's undemanding adult comedy, plus some starry new cast members, for...

Brawl in Cell Block 99 Movie Review

Brawl in Cell Block 99 Movie Review

Filmmaker S. Craig Zahler brought a blast of offbeat creativity to the Western genre two...

The Death of Stalin Movie Review

The Death of Stalin Movie Review

Fans of the film In the Loop and the TV series Veep will definitely not...

Call Me By Your Name Movie Review

Call Me By Your Name Movie Review

Set in northern Italy in the summer of 1983, this internationally flavoured drama is a...

Thor: Ragnarok Movie Review

Thor: Ragnarok Movie Review

The most riotously enjoyable Marvel movie yet, this action epic benefits hugely from the decision...

Advertisement
Breathe Movie Review

Breathe Movie Review

While this biopic has the standard sumptuous production values of a British period drama, it's...

The Snowman Movie Review

The Snowman Movie Review

With a cast and crew packed with A-list talent, this film seems like it should...

The Party Movie Review

The Party Movie Review

Comedies don't get much darker than this pitch-black British movie, written and directed by Sally...

The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) Movie Review

The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) Movie Review

Noah Baumbach (Frances Ha) is on his way to becoming the new Woody Allen, which...

6 Below Movie Review

6 Below Movie Review

Based on an astonishing true survival story, this film is subtitled "Miracle on the Mountain",...

Mother Movie Review

Mother Movie Review

Darren Aronofsky doesn't make fluffy movies, and has only had one genuine misfire (2014's Noah)....

Blade Runner 2049 Movie Review

Blade Runner 2049 Movie Review

It's been 35 years since Ridley Scott's 1982 sci-fi classic, which was set in 2019....

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.