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

Director:

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

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Julia Roberts ... Katherine Ann Watson
Kirsten Dunst ... Betty Warren
Julia Stiles ... Joan Brandwyn
Maggie Gyllenhaal ... Giselle Levy
Ginnifer Goodwin ... Connie Baker
Dominic West ... Bill Dunbar
Juliet Stevenson ... Amanda Armstrong
Marcia Gay Harden ... Nancy Abbey
John Slattery ... Paul Moore
Marian Seldes ... President Jocelyn Carr
Donna Mitchell ... Mrs. Warren
Terence Rigby ... Dr. Edward Staunton
Jennie Eisenhower ... Girl at the Station
Leslie Lyles Leslie Lyles ... Housing Director
Laura Allen ... Susan Delacorte
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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

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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:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Laura Allen graduated from Wellesley. She was a sociology major. After this film's release and its negative reception by historians and Wellesley alumnae, she expressed regret about appearing in the film. See more »

Goofs

During the Maypole dance, the first shot of the maypole shows a tight pattern made at the top. In the second shot, the ribbons are just starting to go around the pole. 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 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown: Episode #19.6 (2020) See more »

Soundtracks

'S Wonderful
Written by George Gershwin and Ira Gershwin
Produced by Trevor Horn
Performed by The Trevor Horn Orchestra
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User Reviews

 
A Woman Ahead of Time
5 January 2014 | by claudio_carvalhoSee all my reviews

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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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Italian

Release Date:

19 December 2003 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Mona Lisa Smile See more »

Filming Locations:

USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$65,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$11,528,498, 21 December 2003

Gross USA:

$63,860,942

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$141,337,989
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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