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Movie Review: Tea With Mussolini

Story: Supposedly a homage to director Franco Zeffirelli's memory of his childhood years, 1935 to 1944 in Tuscany complete with dotty old ex-patriot Brits, Fascists and high tea.

Acting (or in this film overacting): Maggie Smith as a cartoon of herself, Judi Dench, as an Isadora Duncan type artsy wannabe (she is much better as Mrs. Brown), Lily Tomlin, looking oh so awful as an aging lesbian archeologist, Cher, as Cher, only Jewish ala Peggy Guggenheim, and Joan Plowright, cast in the best light compared with the others. A huge supporting or non-supporting cast which only makes the film more unbearable and meandering adds nothing to the movie.

Scenery: Zeffirelli has even managed to make Tuscany look washed out. There is a milky film that covers the entire screen washing out the locale. To me, Tuscany is either luscious or awash in sepia tones. It is hard to make Italy look bad, but in this department he was successful.

LOBO HOWLS: 2 (1 point for the dog and 1 point for pity).