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Mona Lisa Smile (2003)

PG-13 | | Drama | 19 December 2003 (USA)
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
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Mrs. Warren
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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:

They had everything. She showed them more. 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

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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) (21 December 2003)

Gross:

$63,860,942 (USA)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Sound Mix:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Producers originally applied to film at Bryn Mawr College, another one of the Seven Sisters. It is unclear why they ultimately went with Wellesley College. See more »

Goofs

The first day of art history class, Katherine Watson brings in two black slide cases. When is class is over, she leaves with one red slide case. 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

Referenced in Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

Sh-Boom (Life Could Be a Dream)
Written by James Keyes (as James C. Keyes), Carl Feaster, Floyd McRae, Claude Feaster, and James Edwards (as James W. Edwards)
Produced by Trevor Horn
Performed by The Trevor Horn Orchestra
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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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