Semi-autobiographical tale from the early life of director Franco Zeffirelli looks at the illegitimate son of an Italian businessman. The boy's mother has died, and he is raised by an ... See full summary »
Greek Sea, World War II. An Italian ship leaves a handful of soldiers in a little island; their mission is to spot enemy ships and to hold the island in case of attack. The village of the ... See full summary »
Bosnia and Herzegovina during 1993 at the time of the heaviest fighting between the two warring sides. Two soldiers from opposing sides in the conflict, Nino and Ciki, become trapped in no man's land, whilst a third soldier becomes a living booby trap.
In London, during October 1993, England is playing Holland in the preliminaries of the World Cup. The Bosnian War is at its height, and refugees from the ex-Yugoslavia are arriving. ... See full summary »
The story follows an underground weapons manufacturer in Belgrade during WWII and evolves into fairly surreal situations. A black marketeer who smuggles the weapons to partisans doesn't ... See full summary »
In 1944 Poland, a Jewish shop keeper named Jakob is summoned to ghetto headquarters after being caught out near curfew. While waiting for the German Kommondant, Jakob overhears a German ... See full summary »
Hannah Taylor Gordon,
A bad Polish actor is just trying to make a living when what should intrude but World War II in the form of an invasion. His wife has the habit of entertaining young Polish officers while ... See full summary »
Semi-autobiographical tale from the early life of director Franco Zeffirelli looks at the illegitimate son of an Italian businessman. The boy's mother has died, and he is raised by an Englishwoman in pre-WWII Fascist Italy. Living to each other in Florence, and presided over by an ambassador's widow, a group of Englishwomen live a sheltered existence which they believe is guaranteed personal protection in a tea reception given by Il Duce. However, as war breaks out, the women are interned. Occasionally in this English colony is a wealthy American, who visits among her travels and marriages to wealthy older men. She respects the "Scorpioni", as they are known, and secretly arranges for their stay in a hotel. The ambassador's widow finds her vulgar and tries to ignore her, but when the United States enters the war, the American too is taken into custody. Only then does she discover that her Italian lover has tricked her into signing over all her money and modern art collection to him, ... Written by
John Sacksteder <email@example.com>
The ladies protect the frescoes by building a wall around them using sandbags. But the bags are obviously filled with something light and fluffy, such as kapok or cotton. See more »
The love affair between the artistically-inclined English community and Florence was soon to be overshadowed by the clouds of war.
But at the moment the sun is still shining on the squares and statues, and the dictator Mussolini is the gentleman who makes the trains run on time.
Excuse me, are you the Consul?
Connie Raynor of the Morning Post. I'm fascinated to know what His Majesty's Consul in Florence makes of it all?
I can't believe your readers would be ...
[...] See more »
This film is directed and co-authored by Franco Zeffirelli, and I couldn't resist speculating on how much of it was actually true, since it is said to be based on Zeffirelli's autobiography. However, true in part, true completely, in the end it doesn't really matter. What matters is the amazing ensemble acting by Maggie Smith, Cher, Joan Plowwright, Judi Dench and Lily Tomlin (listing them in the order of significance to the story) and the stunning beauty of Florence where the film is set. The director and photographer plainly love the city, matching the love for it of the characters. Maggie Smith as the widow of a former British ambassador, the character that actually has tea with Mussolini, is the dominant figure in the film. However, Cher, playing a wealthy American -- vulgar in the eyes of he British ladies -- who turns out to be a complex, philanthropic Jew who must be smuggled out of the country in the end; Joan Plowwright as a kind lady who takes in the bastard son of an Italian businessman and teaches him to be an English gentleman; Judi Dench as an eccentric artist whose passion is to preserve a renaissance fresco from the Nazis during the war, and Lily Tomlin as a lesbian American archaeologist all deliver sterling performances. Cher's performance is the most amazing -- she holds her own in formidable company -- but one expects, of course, to be dazzled by Maggie Smith, Joan Plowwright, Judi Dench and even by Lily Tomlin. It's a sentimental, even melodramatic, tale, but see it for the ensemble acting. I can't think of another film that equals Tea with Mussolini in that respect.
12 of 13 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?