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Mona Lisa Smile (2003)

PG-13  |   |  Drama  |  19 December 2003 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 58,431 users   Metascore: 45/100
Reviews: 263 user | 139 critic | 40 from Metacritic.com

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


They had everything. She showed them more. 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?


Chloë Sevigny was considered for the role of Giselle Levy. See more »


When Katherine visits Joan's house to show her law school brochures, palm plants are in the front of the house. They would not survive in Massachusetts. 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.
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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 »


Referenced in Who Wants to Be a Millionaire: Episode #8.133 (2010) See more »


I've Got a Crush on You
Written by George Gershwin and Ira Gershwin
Produced by Trevor Horn
Performed by Seal
Courtesy of Warner Bros. Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Formulaic nice-teacher film...
6 April 2004 | by (Evansville, Indiana USA) – See all my reviews

1st watched 4/4/2004 - 5 out of 10(Dir-Mike Newell): Formulaic nice-teacher film with Julia Roberts as the nice teacher. The only difference between this movie and many others about a teacher who changes the students lives supposedly for the better is that it occurs at an all-girls school(can you say `Dead Poets Soceity' for women). Roberts is watchable as usual, but that's about it. The stories of the students is much more interesting but not enough screen time is given for this and what we end up getting is a very surfacy film about life and love in the early 50's for young girls. It's a shame because the intended topic, women's changing role in society, seems to be given second place to the stars and their performances. It's possible that because I'm a man, the story didn't grip me like it should have but I couldn't change sexes just for this review. My best advice is try it and see if you like it and disagree with me if you want, but this is my interpretation of this `could have been good film' that wasn't.

16 of 29 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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