Tea with Mussolini

Tea with Mussolini Image

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

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 14 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)


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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. It's warm, spontaneous and heartfelt. Zeffirelli cared about his memories, and he's done justice to them.
  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. Once you accept the notion that Tea With Mussolini aspires to be little more than a kind of British-Italian ''Steel Magnolias,'' with a patina of World War II-movie uplift, it becomes a pleasure to watch its stars shamelessly hamming it up.
  5. Reviewed by: Ted Gideonse
    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.
  6. 50
    Luca's transformation from waif to budding artist may be the thrust of the film, but it's the psyche of the conflicted grandson that you wonder about.
  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
    This is among the more underrated and under appreciated films in recent memory.
  2. Jun 8, 2013
    Well--wonderful scenes of Florence, the Uffizi Gallery and the Tuscan countryside; well-produced regarding an interesting period in ItalianWell--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.

See all 3 User Reviews