Tea with Mussolini

Rated 3.0 Franco Zeffirelli loosely based this meandering drama on his pre-World War II memories as a young lad in 1935 Florence. An unlikely group of English and American damsels (Joan Plowright, Cher, Judi Dench, Maggie Smith and Lily Tomlin) take the illegitimate, 7-year-old Luca into their fold after his mother dies and his businessman father sends him to an orphanage. These surrogate mothers, with the Plowright character shouldering most of the domestic responsibility, carve out a rather soap-opera existence in this tender if somewhat uneven piece of time travel as the fascists rise to power in the 1940s and Luca joins the Resistance.