Tea with Mussolini

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Released 1999

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Tea with Mussolini

Movie Summary

Director:
Franco Zeffirelli
Released:
1999
Rating:
PG
Tea with Mussolini takes a nostalgic look back to 1930s Europe in director Franco Zeffirelli's 1999 semi-autobiographical drama. As fascist dictator Benito Mussolini takes control of Italy, a group of staid English women expatriates find themselves interned by armed guards as the clouds of World War II start to gather. Mary (Joan Plowright) had adopted Luca, an illegitimate boy whose mother has died, and along with Arabella (Judi Dench, Oscar winner for "Shakespeare in Love"), and Lady Hester (Maggie Smith, Oscar winner for "The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie") they plan on maintaining their stiff upper lips during their odd circumstances. Elsa (Cher, "Moonstruck"), a colorful visitor and Georgie (Lily Tomlin, "Nashville"), an American archaeologist offer some unexpected turns in their stalwart existence. This quiet drama brings together an extraordinary cast of "greatest living actresses," which give this sentimental drama a depth and resonance beyond its simple coming of age story.

Metacritic Score

  • 70

    Los Angeles Times Kevin Thomas

    Zeffirelli has created an amusing yet touching high adventure and an unusual coming-of-age tale.

  • 60

    The New York Times Stephen Holden

    Once you accept the notion that Tea With Mussolini aspires to be little more than a kind of British-Italian ''Steel Magnolias,'' with a patina of World War II-movie uplift, it beco...

  • 60

    Variety Derek Elley

    Some fine individual perfs by the tony cast, plus fine period detail and costumes, make the time pass fairly agreeably, but Tea With Mussolini suffers from a fatal lack of focus an...

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    More Info About This Movie

    Categories

    Comedy, Drama

    Themes

    Independent, Historical