Mona Lisa Smile (2003)

This movie from 2003 is one I have in my collection and I watch it regularly. It is the story of art history teacher Katherine Watson, who comes to teach at Wellesly, a prestigious all-women college. It is 1953, and the roles of men and women in society are very clear. Although women do need an education, that is not as important as finding a husband and children. For most of the girls at the college, that is their ultimate goal.
Katherine Watson, not married herself, finds it hard to adjust at first. The girls come to class very prepared (they all know the syllabus by heart) and give Katherine the idea that she is not a very good teacher. Then she decides to challange them and make them think, what is art, what makes art, when is art good etc. By being who she is, she also makes them think about what they want in their lives and how they want that.

All the girls in her class are changed by what they learn in her class.
Betty is sure she wants a marriage and her own household, only to find out that perhaps that is not all she thought it would be.
Joan is a very intelligent young woman who could get into Yale law school, but declines this when her fiancee wants to marry her.
Giselle finds out she can have a live of her own, and Conny finally finds the courage to pursue love.

Julia Roberts plays Katherine Watson, Kirsten Dunst is Betty, Julia Styles is Joan, Maggy Gyllenhaal is Gisele and Jennifer Goodwin is Conny. The cast is amazing and the costumes are great.

The absolute great message of this movie is not that women should stay at home, or should have a carreer, or combine both, but that all women have a choice to do what is best for them.
Julia Roberts as Katherine Watson

One of Katherine's lectures

Joan and Betty listen to the lecture

Katherine makes the girls study paintings by Jackson Pollock, to make them see more than just the obvious.

When the year is over, all the girls come to show their appreciation for Katherine, by bringing her their versions of Sunflowers by Vincent van Gogh.


  1. I liked this movie alot! And I like this blog too :)

    1. Thanks, Melinda for the compliment about my blog.
      And I loved this movie, very inspirational!

      Kind regards,


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