Monday, July 2, 2012

Tea With Mussolini

I love movies that fit into the category: once is never enough, actually I'm pretty sure all of the Victorian Swag ladies love movies in that category. See, for example, my Classics series or Sally's Proposals series, there's just something about those films that make you smile or move you to tears and never fail to give you that cup of tea and warm blanket in front of the fireplace feeling. Bonus points for period pieces, because you know those are going to bring out ALL THE FEELINGS. And since we like to be nothing if not thorough in educating y'all about acceptable ways to swoon and other such Victorian appropriate pursuits, I feel it's only proper that I give one of my favorite period films its due. Let's raise our glasses (champagne, of course!) to Tea With Mussolini. Salute!

Our film is, of course, set in Italy, Firenze (Florence), to be exact, before the beginning of WWII. It's a story of friendship, between some rather indomitable English greats: Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Joan Plowright. (Yes, Cher is in this movie, but don't let that deter you!) We get a glimpse into the life of these rather proper ladies and their great love for Italian art and culture. 

One of the driving stories is that of Mary Lucas (Joan Plowright) and Luca, an Italian business man's bastard who she takes in and raises as her own. His relationship with the Scorpioni, as the British ladies are called, will have you heart clutching. I promise! And his transformation from boy to swoon-worthy lad will assure that your petticoats go up in flames. 

And lest you think that the film is all dialogue and no action, let me assure you that you'll be on the edge of your seats when the great ladies face Mussolini and attempt other daring feats that lesser mortals would not even try. 

Judi Dench as the artistic and vibrant Arabella will leave you simultaneously giggling and wishing that she was your grandmother. Because who doesn't dream of having a fabulously artistic and ballsy older lady who says inappropriate things as their grandmother (actually, that does sound a lot like my grandma). 

Then there are the costumes. OH MY! I would kill for the outfits: the gloves and pearls and hats and dresses and umbrellas. They're exactly what one would envision of the pre-war era:

Tea With Mussolini gets a solid 8/10 on the FEELINGS scale. There are secret escapes, near-death experiences, a young boy nurtured by an expat community, breath-taking scenery, a lovely score, glorious costumes, and A-list actors. 

And just where are the pictures of dreamy grown-up Luca, well, I'm glad you asked:
Since the internet isn't being cooperative, you'll have to settle for the trailer instead of the plethora of clips I planned on inserting in this post. I promise that once you watch it, this film will be added to your already large rotation of period dramas and miniseries. Enjoy!

1 comment:

  1. I have never seen this.... I KNOW!!!!!!!! I'm sorry! I will fix my life!