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Mona Lisa Smile [Blu-ray] (2003)

Julia Roberts , Kirsten Dunst , Mike Newell  |  PG-13 |  Blu-ray
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (284 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Julia Roberts, Kirsten Dunst, Julia Stiles, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Marcia Gay Harden
  • Directors: Mike Newell
  • Writers: Lawrence Konner, Mark Rosenthal
  • Producers: Deborah Schindler, Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas, Joe Roth, Paul Schiff, Richard Baratta
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Blu-ray, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: Arabic, Cantonese, Dutch, English, French, Korean, Spanish
  • Dubbed: French, Spanish
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: February 2, 2010
  • Run Time: 117 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (284 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001CY5MYC
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #193,130 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Mona Lisa Smile [Blu-ray]" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Art Forum
  • College Then and Now
  • What Women Wanted: 1953
  • Music Video - Elton John "The Heart of Every Girl"

  • Editorial Reviews

    Academy Award(r)-winner Julia Roberts (Best Actress in a Leading Role, Erin Brockovich, 2000) leads an all-star cast featuring Kirsten Dunst, Julia Stiles, Maggie Gyllenhall and Marcia Gay Harden. MONA LISA SMILE is a funny, inspiring and uplifting film about an art history professor with a lot to teach about life and much to learn about romance.

    Customer Reviews

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews
    41 of 43 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars THOSE FIFTIES WOMEN... June 5, 2004
    Format:VHS Tape
    My daughter, who had seen this film and loved it, suggested that we watch it together. I agreed and was very glad I did so, as I really enjoyed this bittersweet film. It is a well-acted, well-directed effort about a free-thinking art history professor, Katherine Watson (Julia Roberts), who in the nineteen fifties, lacking Ivy League credentials, manages, through a twist of fate, to get a berth as a professor at traditional and conservative Wellesley College. It is here that she hopes to find herself instructing the leaders of tomorrow.
    What she finds, instead, is a group of highly intelligent, young women, who are more interested in marrying the leaders of tomorrow than in being leaders themselves. Ms. Watson succeeds in opening the minds of her students to the possibilities and choices life can offer and learns a little about such possibilities and choices herself. She also finds friendship and romance while at Wellesley College. The film also focuses on four of her students, all of whom are given stellar portrayals by the young actresses playing them.
    Elizabeth "Betty" Warren (Kirsten Dunst) is the quintessential fifties girl, obsessed with getting her Mrs. before getting her BA. She later discovers that one should be careful for what one wishes. She is also a nasty piece of work who doesn't care what misery for others her poison pen invectives and barbed comments cause. She eventually gets her comeuppance in a way that she never envisioned. Her best friend, Joan Brandwyn (Julia Styles), is a beautiful, highly intelligent, young woman who harbors a secret wish to become a lawyer. Yet, at the same time, she desperately wants to become a wife and mother. Hers is a decision between choices. She ultimately makes a choice that causes Ms.
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    110 of 124 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars you've come a long way, baby December 4, 2003
    Fresh out of graduate school in California, Katherine Watson (Julia Roberts) lands her dream job: Art History professor at Wellesley College, an exclusive all-girl private school in Massachusetts.
    Watson is a "forward thinking liberal" from sunny California - finding herself in a land where women are educating themselves for the sole purpose of marrying well and then making no use of their intellect.
    Surprisingly written by two men (Lawrence Konner & Mark Rosenthal), the movie has an all-star cast: Roberts, Julia Stiles, Maggie Gyllenhaal (you will be hearing a lot about her in the future), and Marcia Gay Harden... battling their way through the 1950s mentality of girdles, washing machines and pipe-smoking, well-bred husbands.
    Intending to ace their way through college so they can get on with producing heirs, Watson's students have already memorized the text and syllabus, so Watson re-writes their lesson plan and annoys everyone on campus with her feather-ruffling, "subversive" ideas.
    I was expecting this film to be a preachy feminist diatribe, but it wasn't. It was about lust vs. love, loyalty vs. society, and heart-felt emotion vs. hiding behind a sweet smile and a stony heart. The film does not present marriage as a farce or promescuity as the preferred option - rather it embraces the idea that a woman can have a family AND still learn and grow and be more than a proper hostess and trophy wife.
    Watson is not portrayed as the all-wise, all-knowing, always-right person - rather she is someone who awakens her students to the possibility that they can do more than be consumers and baby factories - they can know and understand art and radical ideas - without having to like either...
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    21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Painful Reminder of What My Mother Was Forced Into January 23, 2006
    Format:DVD
    This is a great "chick flick" movie, one I've watched many times already.

    When I first watched it, the film brought back painful memories. I can see how my mother, who came from a family of career women (although typical "female" professions such as School Teacher and Nurse), was frustrated at being shoved into the box of housewife and mother. She was never happy in that role, and after seeing this movie, I can see what tremendous pressure women were under back in the 1950's to conform. When she got married, my mother gave up a job she enjoyed because my father and society expected her to do so.

    My mother did not get a college education because my grandfather did not think it was worth educating girls; her brother got the college education. Seeing these bright college girls in the movie was sad, because you knew almost all of them would never use what they learned.

    I went to college in the 1970's and was still getting ribbed by older men as getting my "MRS" Degree, snicker, snicker. I never found that joke funny and I still don't. This movie gives the origin of that attitude that still is prevalent today. A college educated woman is still not worth what a college educated man is; otherwise, women's salaries would be on equal par with men's in all professions.

    The superb costumes and hairstyles reflect the period and were historically accurate, except Julia Roberts' hair seemed a bit too contemporary at times. Yes, she was portrayed as a Bohemian Feminist from California, but her hair and makeup lacked that fifties Bohemian look. (Note Audrey Hepburn's Hair and Makeup in 1957's "Funny Face.")

    The soundtrack was also excellent, reflecting the time period and popular music of the 1950's.
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