Tea with Mussolini (1999, GBR/ITA) C-117m. *** D: Franco Zeffirelli. Starring Cher, Judi Dench, Joan Plowright, Maggie Smith, Lily Tomlin, Baird Wallace, Charlie Lucas. Priceless period piece set during WW2 in idyllic Tuscany, where a group of elderly ladies have set up a British enclave. One of them, Plowright, has taken up the task of turning a little Italian boy into a British gentleman. Then a free-spirited American woman, Cher, arrives and takes him under her wings. Wonderful cast and settings, touching storyline and a fine score make this an engrossing experience. Script by John Mortimer, based on Franco Zeffirelli's autobiography.

© Ron Altman @ www.cultfilmz.com