A married woman realizes how unhappy her marriage really is, and that her life needs to go in a different direction. After a painful divorce, she takes off on a round-the-world journey to "find herself".
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
In the pool, the girls in the background practicing synchronized swimming are members of the Wheaton College (MA) Synchronized Swim Team from the 2002-3 season. See more »
Giselle runs early in the film. At one point, a microphone is visible, taped inside her shirt. See more »
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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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 »
In 1953, free spirited and non-orthodox art history teacher Katherine Ann Watson (Julia Roberts) accepts the challenge of teaching in the conservative Wellesley College. She leaves her boy-friend Paul Moore (John Slattery) in California and share a house with the teacher Nancy Abbey (Marcia Gay Harden) and the nurse Amanda (Juliet Stevenson).
On the first day, her class fails under the leadership of the arrogant Betty Warren (Kirsten Dunst) and her friends Joan Brandwyn (Julia Stiles) and Giselle Levy (Maggie Gyllenhaal), but Katherine is advised by her mates and the Italian teacher Bill Dunbar (Dominic West) to not fear the students. Soon Katherine learns that the girls are only waiting to catch Mr. Nice Guy and get married and she fights against the status- quo of Wellesley and to keep her independence.
"Mona Lisa Smile" is an entertaining movie about a woman living ahead of time in a conservative environment. The performances are top-notch, highlighting Julia Roberts, Kirsten Dunst, Julia Stiles and Maggie Gyllenhaal. I bought this DVD many years ago and only today I have seen this movie recommended by a friend of mine. My vote is seven.
Title (Brazil): "O Sorriso de Mona Lisa" ("The Smile of Mona Lisa")
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