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Saturday, October 25, 2008

Tea with Mussolini (1999)


A film that stirs the heart

A semi-autobiographical film directed by Franco Zeffirelli, telling the story of young Italian boy Luca's upbringing by a kind British woman and her circle of friends.

The film "Tea with Mussolini" deals with complex issues in such a subtle way that it is easy to dismiss if the viewer overlooks the intriquite relationships of the characters. How the characters evolve from being self-involved (their love of the arts and formalities) to becoming caring individuals and creating bonds that overcome the heirarchies of the social class structure due to race, nationality, war and a young boy that pulls them together.

Luca a young Italian boy copes with having no family due to being an illigitamate child in picturesque Italy during The Second World War. Lucas mothers death and his father's refusal to take him into his care due to a wife that would not accept him lead him to find a new family with his father's secretary (Joan Plowright) and her sociatal peers The Scorpioni (The Scorpions) named for the groups sharp wit and poisonous bite. This group takes young Luca into their privliged clique and shares in the education and introduces young Luca to The Arts which is the groups passion. Little do they know that by doing this they have began on a road to self change that will alter thier view on the world, thier friendships and detestations of others in the group.

This film is a story of compassion, friendship, art, family, accepatance, change, egos, jeolousy and shows the letting go of beliefs and the opening of hearts. The cast is first rate with the likes of Cher, Maggie Smith, Joan Plowright, Lily Tomlin and Judi Dench along with the perfect casting of the character Luca played by Baird Wallace (Luca: teenager) and Charlie Lucas (Luca: child) both of these fine young actors will grab the viewers heart and make him want to help with the caring of and the education of this heart grabbing character. Luca's troubles will affect the viewer and pull at one's heartstrings. Baird Wallace is talented young actor that holds his own and deserves praise and notice from the industry. Recomendations: Buy this film, it is a film with grit and emotions that will make you examine your own life and wish that you could have been as bleesed as Luca had. By "holden28"

(pictures from another source)

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