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.
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Sex scene aside, Don't Look Now recalls recent fare as diverse as The Sixth Sense, The Blair Witch Project, and Frantic -- with Christie communing with two elderly psychics and Sutherland haunted by visions of his dead daughter's red raincoat. Sutherland and Christie are phenomenal, leaving the Roegian metaphysical mumbo jumbo in their wake as they show us how some real acting gets done.
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