The Online Encyclopedia and Dictionary






Mona Lisa Smile

Mona Lisa Smile is a 2003 film that was produced by Revolution Studios and Columbia Pictures, directed by Mike Newell and written by Lawrence Konner and Mark Rosenthal . The title is a reference to the Mona Lisa, a famous painting by Leonardo da Vinci.

Plagued by critical disapproval and rumors that the actresses participating in it did not enjoy making it, the movie did not perform up to expectations in the box office.


Box office performance

  • Costs (approximate):
    • Production: $65,000,000
    • Marketing: $25,000,000
  • Income:
    • United States: $63,860,942
    • Worldwide (excluding U.S.): $76,972,150
  • Profit: $51,000,000 (approx.)


Mona Lisa Smile tells the story of a feminist teacher ("Katherine Watson"), who leaves her boyfriend behind in Los Angeles, California in 1953, to teach at Wellesley College, an all-girls, conservative college in the Eastern coast of the United States.

Watson tries to inspire her students into believing in themselves, study to become career professionals and improve their economic futures. She utilizes her art teachings as a vehicle to show young women her opinion: that the stereotype of women being born to become housewives and mothers was wrong, and women could do more things in life than just the roles of wives and mothers. In one scene of the movie, she shows her students four newspaper ads, all of which gave women the idea that to become better wives, they had to buy certain products.

Watson's ideas and ways of teaching were met with dislike by part of the school's directors, conservative women who believed firmly that Watson should not use her class to express her points of views or befriend students, and stick only to teaching art. Watson was warned that she could be fired if she continued acting the way she did around students.

Undaunted, Watson became stronger in her speeches about feminism and the future of women. She was a firm believer that the outlook of women in society needed to be changed if women were to achieve better futures, and that she needed to instill a spirit of change among her students.

Watson eventually was fired from the school, but, as she was leaving the campus for the last time, her students ran after her car, to show her affection and thank her for her lessons. The film was released on VHS and DVD use on July of 2004.


External links

  • Mona Lisa Smile at the Internet Movie Database
  • Box Office Mojo's movie database entry

Last updated: 02-10-2005 11:50:32
Last updated: 04-25-2005 03:06:01