Julia Roberts shines as a new art history professor at Wellesley College in 1953 who immediately draws attention at the elite women's school for her progressive teaching style and views. Among the students affected by her are Kirsten Dunst, a spoiled, nasty young woman with traditional attitudes; Julia Stiles, torn between marrying or going to law school; and rebellious party girl Maggie Gyllenhaal.
However, its lack of ambition doesn't diminish the talent that's gone into it: The writing and directing are well-honed and skillful; the actors--a talent-studded cast featuring Marcia Gay Harden, Kirsten Dunst, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Julia Stiles, and Juliet Stevenson--are uniformly excellent. But without question, Mona Lisa Smile rides on Roberts's shoulders and she carries it with ease. She's possibly the only contemporary actor who simply owns a movie the way Bette Davis, Jean Arthur, or Claudette Colbert once did, radiating a engaging mix of intelligence, drive, and emotional warmth that cannot be matched. -- Bret Fetzer
|Recommended Age||13 and up|
|Actors||Julia Roberts, Kirsten Dunst, Julia Stiles, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Ginnifer Goodwin|
|Running Time||117 minutes|
|Studio||Sony Pictures Home Entertainment|
|Release Date||Mar 9, 2004|