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Zeffirelli's alter ego is Luca (Charlie Lucas in youth; Baird Wallace as a teenager), who is raised in Florence by Mary (Joan Plowright), the middle-aged secretary of his absentee father. Luca lives among a loose band of British and American women, nicknamed "Il Scorpioni" for their stinging wit in the shadows of Mussolini's thuggish dictatorship. Along with Mary there's Hester (Maggie Smith), a crusty ambassador's widow; Arabella (Judi Dench), a lively bohemian; lesbian archaeologist Georgie (Lily Tomlin); and Elsa (Cher), a flamboyant American who quietly finances Luca's education.
Il Scorpioni witness the rise of fascism and the dangers of resistance, weathering dictatorial custody and (in Elsa's case) falling prey to heartbreaking betrayal. But Tea with Mussolini carries little dramatic weight; you have to forgive its unfocused structure to appreciate its merits. Zeffirelli gently conveys the passage from pleasantry to wartime, and he's drawn uniformly fine performances from this seasoned cast. If the film is vaguely unsatisfying, it's only because it had the makings of greatness and settles instead for an ethereal quality of anecdotal enchantment. --Jeff Shannon
All of the actresses and actors were fantastic. Maggie Smith and Cher - just perfect. And this DVD was closed captioned so all of us were able to enjoy it. Read morePublished 11 hours ago by Sharon Ford
I enjoyed this movie, it accurately portrays some of the English fascination with Benito Mussolini before the Second World War. Read morePublished 3 days ago by Charles Ashbacher
brings back some memories of Italy , very good price , fast servicePublished 11 days ago by Tibor Martz
Maggie Smith was so good in this movie, and so was Cher. I am not a big fan of Cher's but I do like Maggie Smith very much.
Cher was good in this movie.
Absolutely love this movie, couldn't ask for more incredible actricesPublished 4 months ago by Daniel Cammell