Tea with Mussolini

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  • PG
  • 1999
  • 1 hr 57 min
  • 6.9  (14,040)
  • 53

Tea with Mussolini is a 1999 period drama film directed by Franco Zeffirelli, based on his own semi-autobiographical novel "Tea and Laughter". The movie stars an ensemble cast of British actresses including Maggie Smith, Judi Dench, Joan Plowright, Lily Tomlin, and Cher. The film is set in Florence, Italy during the late 1930s and early 1940s, just before and during World War II. The story follows a group of wealthy English and American women who live in Florence and are part of the British expatriate community. These women are part of a group called the "Scorpioni" and are led by the formidable Lady Hester Random (Maggie Smith).

As the threat of war looms over Europe, the Scorpioni members try to preserve their way of life in Florence. They drink tea, gossip, and attend cultural events. However, when the city comes under the control of the fascist government of Benito Mussolini, their lives are turned upside down.

The film explores themes of friendship, love, and loss. It also touches on issues of identity, nationality, and belonging. The story is narrated by the character of Luca Innocenti (Charlie Lucas), a young boy who is adopted by the Scorpioni after his father dies.

The performances of the leading actresses in the film are outstanding. Maggie Smith is particularly impressive as the domineering Lady Hester Random, who tries to take care of her adopted son Luca and her fellow Scorpioni members against the backdrop of the war. Judi Dench is also great in her role as the quiet, reserved Arabella, who secretly helps the Scorpioni and develops a close relationship with young Luca.

The film also features an evocative score by Italian composer Alessio Vlad. The music captures the mood of the film and enhances the beautiful scenery of Florence.

Tea with Mussolini is ultimately a story about survival in the face of political turmoil. It is a poignant tribute to the people who try to make the best of difficult circumstances and to the power of human connection in times of crisis.

Overall, Tea with Mussolini is a beautiful, moving film that delivers a powerful message about the importance of community, friendship, and love. It is a must-see for fans of period dramas and anyone who appreciates powerful storytelling.

Tea with Mussolini
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 57 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.9  (14,040)
  • Metascore