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Mona Lisa Smile (Bilingual) [Import]

Julia Roberts , Kirsten Dunst , Mike Newell    Unrated   DVD
3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (95 customer reviews)
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Mona Lisa Smile (Bilingual) [Import] + Pretty Woman (Bilingual) + My Best Friend's Wedding (Special Edition) (Bilingual)
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Mona Lisa Smile


Après avoir réalisé des films aussi différents que Quatre mariages et un enterrement ou Donnie Brasco, Mike Newell poursuit son cheminement éclectique avec Le Sourire de Mona Lisa, regard sur les balbutiements du féminisme dans les années 50 en Amérique.

En 1953, Katherine Watson, jeune diplômée de l’Univerité de Californie à Los Angeles (UCLA), accepte un poste de professeure en histoire de l’art au collège Wellesley, institution conservatrice où l’on forme les jeunes filles de bonne famille à devenir de parfaites mères et épouses. Miss Watson est convaincue qu’elle réussira à ouvrir d’autres horizons à ses élèves en les enjoignant à penser par elles-mêmes.

Même si le scénario du Sourire de Mona Lisa faisait craindre un simple copié collé au féminin de celui du Cercle des poètes disparus, le résultat s’avère toutefois original. La jeune professeure (une Julia Roberts pas toujours dans le ton) ne cherche pas à galvaniser l’esprit de ses troupes (Kirsten Dunst, Julia Stiles et Maggie Gyllenhaal en tête) en lançant des slogans accrocheurs, mais plutôt à les accompagner sur le chemin de l’émancipation. Sans être trop simplificateur, le film nous fait alors sentir le poids des conventions que ces femmes eurent à éprouver. Bien que multipliant les histoires secondaires à l’utilité plus ou moins affirmée, et ne sachant tout à fait trouver un rythme adéquat, Le Sourire de Mona Lisa a le mérite de faire un portrait assez juste de cette génération de femmes des années 50 à qui l’on apprenait la docilité comme vertu première. – Helen Faradji.

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Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This movie is exceptional Dec 4 2009
When the chemistry is right with her co-stars Julia Roberts is truly amazing.This movie is a great case and point. Women have come a long way in the last fifty years.This is a great movie with an even better message.
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5.0 out of 5 stars a masterpiece... July 18 2004
I was very pleased with how this movie turned out (except the whole Bill situation could have been taken out. it didn't really match her ideals really..). When I saw previews for it, I knew at once I wanted to see it but was afraid Hollywood would ruin it. On the contrary, I was very moved.
I was really impressed how they addressed what is expected from all women, but also how all women are DIFFERENT. On one hand, there is Katherine Watson who believes women should not simply get married and have children, that there is "more to life" than motherhood. On the other hand, there is the university and most of its faculty and students who believe the opposite. And then there are the very few (or maybe one) in between who believe in possibilities... Though the character Katherine Watson has a noble agenda to change the rigid motherly ideals of the school, she has simply fled to the opposite extreme with rigid academic ideals.
Though this movie takes place in the 1950's, these themes are NOT irrelevent. Take it from a college girl herself (and many of my friends) - many of these expectations and pressures still exist in different forms. Replace Katherine with your high school, your peers, and your parents, and replace the Wellesley of the 1950s with your grandmothers, your aunts, your friends and you have MY life with a seemingly opposite but very similar struggle.
Therefore, I give this movie 5 stars. It realistically depicts the struggle that can still be seen in many women's lives today, but does not provide a cop-out answer for the masses. Like the analogy in the film of the paint-by-number sets, women are not cookie cutter shapes!
All the actresses in this movie did a wonderful job. Julia Stiles, Julia Roberts, Maggie Gyllenhaal, and more.. I was easily able to relate to these characters, and their development is exceptionally interesting. This film holds much significance to those of us women who have lived it out in one way or another.
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2.0 out of 5 stars another teacher-as-messiah film July 16 2004
**1/2 In the wheezingly old-fashioned "Mona Lisa Smile," Julia Roberts joins the ranks of Robert Donat, Glenn Ford, Sidney Poitier, Sandy Dennis, Robin Williams, Edward James Olmos, Michelle Pfeiffer and Kevin Kline, all of whom have played inexperienced teachers who manage to win over and inspire their initially recalcitrant students. It matters not whether these pupils are hardened inner city gang types or snooty prep school geniuses, the arc of the story is always the same. The teacher, armed with a sense of optimism and a zeal to "make a difference" in the students' lives, arrives at the institution nervous and unsure of whether she is really up to the challenge (or "he" in the case of many of these films). After a predictably disastrous start, in which the students belittle her idealism and efforts and attempt to take advantage of her inexperience, the teacher invariably throws out the standard, stuffy, boring curriculum and finds a way to make learning relevant, fun and engaging. This, of course, makes her the most popular teacher at the school, but also a threat to the ossified educational establishment, which throws up endless roadblocks in an effort to keep this know-it-all upstart from upsetting the applecart. Undeterred, the teacher manages to get down to the students' level, rapping with them as if she were one of their own, helping to solve their problems and inspiring them to take their rightful place in society as freethinking, morally upstanding individuals. Then comes the inevitable moment when the teacher must decide, midway through the term, whether or not she will be returning for the next semester, with the student who gave the teacher the most trouble at the start pleading with her to stay on and work her magic for generations of students to come. Read more ›
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3.0 out of 5 stars Could've been much better July 1 2004
By Lauren
3 stars for three reasons: Maggie Gyllenhaal, Julia Stiles, and Marcia Gay Harden. (I loved Topher Grace's appearance too, but there wasn't enough of him to warrant 4 stars.) What about Julia Roberts, you ask? Well, Julia Roberts is a great actress, no doubt about it. But she just didn't fit the role. Another reviewer said it well -- she's just too modern to be in a movie taking place in the '50s.
Roberts plays Katherine Watson, a pre-feminism feminist who goes to Welsley College as an art history teacher, hoping to make a difference in the young women's lives. During her stay at the school, a few students stand out in her class -- Elizabeth Warren (Kirsten Dunst), Joan Brandwyn (Julia Stiles), Giselle Levy (Maggie Gyllenhaal), and Connie Baker (Gennifer Goodwin). The movie focuses on these five women -- Elizabeth's struggle to be the perfect 1950s housewife, despite her husband's lack of interest in being her husband; Joan's dilemma about whether to attend Yale University or marry her boyfriend (Topher Grace); Giselle's struggle with her reputation, as well as harboring feelings for a professor; Connie's struggle to, well, to love herself; and Katherine's struggle to bring the young women around to her feminist point of view.
The problem with this movie is that, apart from being cliched, Katherine Watson is not a very likeable person. She constantly tries to force others into her way of thinking, particularly Joan. Joan makes a decision in the movie that shocks Katherine, who does not for a second consider that maybe Joan's choice was what made her happy. Add Katherine's completely unconvincing romance with a fellow teacher (the same object of Giselle's affections) and you have a boring, unlikeable central character.
However, some of the students are very engaging and likeable.
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars interesting film of an era
The ancient poet Browning wrote 'God's in his heaven all's right with the world' but not at Wellesley college in the 1950's... Read more
Published on Sept. 3 2012 by Anthony Marinelli
4.0 out of 5 stars It was a fun movie to watch
Even though it was not as good a movie as some of her other movies that she has done, I still enjoyed it. Read more
Published on Dec 3 2010 by Duchess
5.0 out of 5 stars Film for all women
I loved this movie. It is a film all feminist women should see and I think they'll enjoy it as much as I did. Read more
Published on March 8 2006 by Penny Lane
1.0 out of 5 stars the ultimate chick flick
Guys if you are forced to watch this movie fake a serious illness or better yet fake death. If your woman doesn't kill you this movie will. Read more
Published on Oct. 25 2004 by Frank
5.0 out of 5 stars Empowering
This was an empowering film to me. I loved how Julia Roberts' character, Katherine Watson, challenged these women into different ways of thinking. Read more
Published on July 20 2004 by Desiree
3.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining but Cliched Plot
I love Julia Roberts' glowing smile and infectious laugh, but this movie is just another cliché of the inspirational teacher. Read more
Published on July 19 2004 by Melissa McCauley
3.0 out of 5 stars Artsy
Some parts of this movie are just plain boring. But I give it 3 stars because some parts are interesting.
Published on July 6 2004 by CJ Foster
5.0 out of 5 stars Good vs. Bad
I could see why some people would and wouldn't like this movie. But for me, I absolutely loved it. It was inspiring, and wonderful, and yes, even though Kirsten Dunst's character... Read more
Published on July 3 2004 by Canna Hara
5.0 out of 5 stars Character Driven. Memorable.
I truly enjoyed this film. I'm not a huge Julia Roberts fan but have nothing against her and I truly felt she stretched and was a shining star in this portrayal of a Bohemian... Read more
Published on July 1 2004
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