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Tea With Mussolini

Posted on

Tea With Mussolini

Current Status:
In Season
Cher, Judi Dench, Maggie Smith
Franco Zeffirelli
Drama, Historical

We gave it a C-

Tea With Mussolini Cher, Judi Dench (1999, MGM, 114 mins., PG, also on DVD) Franco Zeffirelli’s autobiographical period piece boasts a serious cast: Cher and Dench are joined by Joan Plowright, Maggie Smith, and Lily Tomlin in 1930s Florence as WWII looms. The English biddies take on mothering an abandoned boy, protecting art, and dealing with their prejudice against wild-and-crazy American Cher (who’s also Jewish, in a plot-device kind of way). You’d think one of these story lines would click, but in the end the movie squanders its talent in uninteresting, overcaffeinated drama. Reel Goodies (1:51) Smith is crisply English when she politely but firmly refuses Scottish soldiers’ request to evacuate. The Last Detail The cast certainly has its share of Oscar winners: Cher (Best Actress), Dench (Best Supporting), and Smith (Best Actress, Best Supporting). And nominees: Plowright and Tomlin (both Best Supporting Actress). C-