Mona Lisa Smile

Synopsis: 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.
Genre: Drama
Director(s): Mike Newell
Production: Sony Pictures Releasing
  Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 5 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
117 min

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 lack ed in pedigree.

Which was why this bohemian

from California...

...was on her way to the most

conservative college in the nation.

- Excuse me, please.

- Oh, sorry.

Excuse me.

Excuse me. The bus?

- Keep walking, ma'am.

- Thank you.

But Katherine Watson didn't come

to Wellesley to fit in.

She came to Wellesley because

she wanted to mak e a difference.

- Violet.

- My favourite Italian professor.

- Nice summer?

- Terrific, thanks.

- Who's that over there?

- Where?

Oh, Katherine Watson. New teacher.

Art History. I'm dying to meet her.

Who knocks at the Door of Learning?

- I am every woman.

- What do you seek?

To awaken my spirit

through hard work...

...and dedicate my life

to knowledge.

Then you are welcome.

All women who seek to follow you

can enter here.

I now declare

the academic year begun.

A shame you didn't come yesterday.

It's so quiet before the girls arrive.

Just a few rules.

No holes in the walls.

No pets, no loud noises, no radio

or hi-fi after 8 on weekdays...

...10 on weekends... hot plates and no male visitors.

Anything wrong?

I don't think I can go a year

without a hot plate.

Don't you just love chintz?

And look.

They match.

Sweet, right? Your room's here.

My room is just across the way...

...and Amanda Armstrong's

down the other end.

- You grew up here?

- My whole life.

You'll meet my parents

when they come to visit.

- They visit?

- Regularly.

- What do you teach?

- Speech, elocution and poise.

Dinners are communal,

so I'll handle that.

But breakfast and lunch,

you're on your own. So...

...we each get our own shelf.

I'll make your label this evening.

I don't need to tell you, everything on

our individual shelves is sacrosanct.

I just knew when we met...

...we'd be instant friends.

Be careful. They can smell fear.

- Good morning.

- Good morning.

Thank you.

This is History of Art 100.

We'll be following

Dr. Staunton's syllabus.

- Any questions so far?

- Your name?

- Why don't you go first?

- Connie Baker.

- Katherine Watson. Nice to meet you.

- Dr. Watson, I presume.

- Not yet. And you are?

- Giselle Levy.

Giselle. If someone could get the-

- Susan Delacorte.

- Thank you, Susan Delacorte.

From the beginning, man has always

had the impulse to create art.

- Can anyone tell me what this is?

- Wounded Bison, Altamira, Spain...

...about 15,000 B.C.

Joan Brandwyn.

Very good, Joan.

Despite the age of these, they are

technically sophisticated because-

The shading and the thickness of the

lines moving over the bison's hump.

- Is that right?

- Yes, that's exactly right.

Next slide.

This is probably less familiar.

It was discovered by archaeologists-

In 1879, Lascaux, France.

Dates back to 10,000 B.C.

Singled out because of flowing lines

depicting the movement of the animal.

- Impressive. Name?

- Herd of Horses.

- I meant yours.

- We call her Flicka.

Elizabeth Warren.

They call me Betty.

Very good.

Betty is also correct.

Just because something is ancient

doesn't mean that it is primitive.

For example. Next slide, please.

Mycerinus and His Queen. 2470 B.C.

It's a funerary statue

of the pharaoh and queen...

...originally intended to preserve

the pharaoh's ka. Soul.

Have any of you taken

Art History before?


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Lawrence Konner

Lawrence Konner is an American screenwriter and television writer of shows such as Boardwalk Empire and The Sopranos. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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