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

Contactmusic 2017 Exclusive

New Movies

Hidden Figures Movie Review

Hidden Figures Movie Review

This film recounts such a great true story that we don't mind the fact that...

The Founder Movie Review

The Founder Movie Review

This is the story of Ray Kroc, the man who created the concept of McDonald's....

John Wick: Chapter 2 Movie Review

John Wick: Chapter 2 Movie Review

Keanu Reeves picks up his supremely efficient hitman immediately where the 2015 original left him:...

Fences Movie Review

Fences Movie Review

After winning Tony Awards on Broadway, Denzel Washington and Viola Davis reteam for a film...

The Lego Batman Movie Movie Review

The Lego Batman Movie Movie Review

A spin-off from 2014's awesome The Lego Movie, this raucously paced action-comedy is proof that...

The Space Between Us Movie Review

The Space Between Us Movie Review

While the premise of this movie makes it look like a sci-fi adventure, the truth...

Toni Erdmann Movie Review

Toni Erdmann Movie Review

On paper, the idea of a two-hour 40-minute German comedy may not seem very promising,...

Advertisement
Gold Movie Review

Gold Movie Review

Based on a true story, this lively and sometimes outrageous adventure is packed with twists...

Loving Movie Review

Loving Movie Review

While this film tackles a huge issue in the history of race relations in America,...

T2 Trainspotting Movie Review

T2 Trainspotting Movie Review

It's been 20 years since we last saw four freewheeling young junkies from Edinburgh spiral...

Hacksaw Ridge Movie Review

Hacksaw Ridge Movie Review

Based on an astounding true story, this battlefield drama mixes warm emotion with intense action...

Sing Movie Review

Sing Movie Review

The quality of the animation in this musical comedy may not be up to Pixar...

Jackie Movie Review

Jackie Movie Review

Rather than make a standard biopic about the most famous First Lady in American history,...

Split Movie Review

Split Movie Review

After a few badly received sci-fi blockbusters, M. Night Shyamalan returned to his earthier style...

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.