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53

Mixed or average reviews - based on 26 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.3

Generally favorable reviews- based on 13 Ratings

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  • Starring: , , ,
  • Summary: A coming-of-age tale about an illegitimate child who struggles to assert his independence and find his way into a life of art, taken from the autobiography of Franco Zeffirelli. (MGM)

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 26
  2. Negative: 2 out of 26
  1. 80
    This gets my vote as director Franco Zeffirelli’s finest film. Certainly, it’s his most personal.
  2. 75
    An incomplete memoir with spotty character development, but, in part because of the way it was filmed and in part because of the strength of the cast, it's still an effective entertainment.
  3. 63
    The movie seemed the stuff of anecdote, not drama, and as the alleged protagonist, Luca/Franco is too young much of the time to play more than a bystander's role.
  4. Reviewed by: Richard Schickel
    60
    Maggie Smith and Judi Dench are glorious comic actresses, while Joan Plowright provides a firm, touching moral center to the film. They almost make you forget Cher's totally out-of-it work as a disapproved-of American and carry the film to its destiny, which is one of inoffensive inconsequence, prettily staged. [24 May 1999, p.88]
  5. 50
    And while the divas make their characters hugely entertaining, they're also such high profile actresses in such a soft-edged film that it's hard to actually worry about what's to become of them.
  6. Reviewed by: Ted Gideonse
    50
    These actresses are always worth seeing in just about anything, as is Tuscany. Together they are able to make up for the meandering plot and lack of dramatic oomph.
  7. 30
    Franco Zeffirelli's contrived autobiographical film about his youth in fascist Italy has little social grace -- it's embarrassingly awkward, like a dilettante playing the doyenne.

See all 26 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 3
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 3
  3. Negative: 1 out of 3
  1. TonyB.
    Nov 25, 2005
    8
    This is among the more underrated and under appreciated films in recent memory.
  2. Jun 8, 2013
    3
    Well--wonderful scenes of Florence, the Uffizi Gallery and the Tuscan countryside; well-produced regarding an interesting period in Italian history and with an amazing group of actors.

    That said (and apologies for seeming so grumpy, but really disappointed with a movie that seemed to have such promise): poorly written, poorly acted and poorly directed, self-indulgent and really a caricature of the high quality repertory productions in which we're used to seeing Judy Dench and Maggie Smith. The Judy Dench character had some subtlety, but the Maggie Smith character was embarrassingly broadly written, directed (I'm guessing) and acted. If you want to see scenes of pre--WWII Florence, I'd strongly suggest "Room With a View" over this movie. Not recommended.
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See all 3 User Reviews

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