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Mona Lisa Smile (2003)

PG-13  |   |  Drama  |  19 December 2003 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 57,755 users   Metascore: 45/100
Reviews: 262 user | 139 critic | 40 from

A free-thinking art professor teaches conservative 1950s Wellesley girls to question their traditional social roles.


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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 5 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
President Jocelyn Carr
Donna Mitchell ...
Terence Rigby ...
Dr. Edward Staunton
Girl at the Station
Leslie Lyles ...
Housing Director


Katherine Ann Watson has accepted a position teaching art history at the prestigious Wellesley College. Watson is a very modern woman, particularly for the 1950s, and has a passion not only for art but for her students. For the most part, the students all seem to be biding their time, waiting to find the right man to marry. The students are all very bright and Watson feels they are not reaching their potential. Altough a strong bond is formed between teacher and student, Watson's views are incompatible with the dominant culture of the college. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


In einer Welt, die ihnen vorschrieb, wie man lebt, lehrte sie sie, wie man denkt. (In a world that told them how to live, she taught them how to think.) See more »



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for sexual content and thematic issues | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

19 December 2003 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La sonrisa de Mona Lisa  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$65,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$11,528,498 (USA) (19 December 2003)


$11,289 (Hong Kong) (30 April 2004)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


In order to prepare for their roles, the leads were all put through a finishing school two weeks prior to filming. See more »


Katherine Watson is harassed for introducing modern art to her students. Wellesley was the first liberal arts college to teach modern art, and its program was well-established by 1953. See more »


[first lines]
Betty Warren: [voiceover] All her life, she had wanted to teach at Wellesley College. So, when a position opened in the Art History department, she pursued it single-mindedly until she was hired. It was whispered that Katherine Watson, a first-year teacher from Oakland State, made up in brains what she lacked in pedigree. Which was why this bohemian from California was on her way to the most conservative college in the nation.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The end credits for the prominent cast and crew are set in front of vintage footage and advertisements showing women in the 1940s and 50s. See more »


Featured in The 61st Annual Golden Globe Awards (2004) See more »


Flying Home
Written by Benny Goodman and Lionel Hampton
Produced by Trevor Horn
Performed by The Trevor Horn Orchestra
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Will raise the spirits of all but the most hard hearted.
12 October 2004 | by (Rockville, Maryland) – See all my reviews

My granddaughters like to watch movies over and over. With Mona Lisa Smile, I'm with them. This is a movie that will lift you up and make you smile.

Some reviewers on this site claim the movie has a liberal agenda. Well, if its liberal to want young ladies to consider all their options and be able to reach for the stars - if they choose, then who can disagree. Label me with an "L".

Recent movies that I will watch again include Groundhog Day, In America, The Emperor's Club, and In & Out. If you liked most of these, watch this movie.

You won't be disappointed. And be sure to watch the credits at the end, the part done to the song "The Heart of Every Girl." The older generation will really relate.

57 of 84 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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