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Mona Lisa Smile (2003)

PG-13 | | Drama | 19 December 2003 (USA)
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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

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

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

Taglines:

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 »

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

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Release Date:

19 December 2003 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La sonrisa de Mona Lisa  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$65,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

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

Gross:

$63,695,760 (USA) (20 February 2004)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Lecture Hall scenes were filmed at Columbia University, which maintains a 50-year-old lecture hall used in many different films. See more »

Goofs

During Katherine's talk with Stan, her drink alternates between nearly full and almost empty between shots. See more »

Quotes

[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 »

Connections

References What's My Line? (1950) See more »

Soundtracks

Walkin' My Baby Back Home
Written by Fred E. Ahlert and Roy Turk
Performed by Nat 'King' Cole (as Nat King Cole)
Courtesy of Capitol Records
Under license from EMI Film & Television Music
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Beautiful yet not flawless
16 February 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Mona Lisa Smile is a beautiful film. The whole setting of the liberal arts college, the 50s conservative setup in which the college dwells so firmly in, and the magical aura of a bygone era captivates you right form the start of the film. Top that with some beautiful photography, a nice gripping story and some convincing performances and you've got a great film.

The focus of the film is primarily on the somewhat radical character of Dr Watson (played with finesse by Julia Roberts)and how she deals with the conservative environs of Wellesley College. She is able to build a great rapport with her students, something which happens rather spontaneously and is not explained - one of the flaws in the film. Eventually though , she must face the conservative forces in the college and decide whether she can bend her values and beliefs in order to stay on at the college.

This is one of the better offerings from Hollywood in recent times. Definitely not a "chick flick".


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