Projections - Movie Reviews

Tea With Mussolini

Tea With Mussolini, staring Joan Plowright, Maggie Smith, Judi Dench, Cher and Lily Tomlin, tells the intimate story of the effect of World War II on the British residents of Florence.  Mary Wallace (Plowright), Lady Hester Randorn (Smith) and Arabella Delancey (Dench) are good friends of widely different dispositions united by their love of Italy, art and their English civility.  When Mary adopts an abandoned child, Luca, the three band together to secure for him a safe and cultured upbringing.  Their concern for him is truly touching - one can really sense their good intentions, however un-conventional.  Best of all, they become for him the family which he will always return to and protect.

Adding spice to the mix is Cher as Elsa Morganthal, a former Ziegfield dancer whose flashiness unnerves the ladies, especially Lady Random.  While the ladies vary in their enthusiasm for Elsa and in their warmth toward her, she maintains a respect for them which ultimately ensures their safety.

In the end, Tea With Mussolini is the story of how human kindness matters more than anything else.  How help can come in the most unexpected places.  And, how kind deeds prompt more kind deeds and how loyalty and devotion bring incredible results.  It is also the story that Director Franco Zottirolli felt he had to tell.  A story about extraordinary women who tried to resist the madness of war that was sweeping across Europe.

Tea With Mussolini


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