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Mona Lisa Smile

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This movie is a periodic favorite of mine.

It has a nice tightly packaged interplay between many different, clearly distinct characterizations.

Katherine Watson's role, portrayed by Julia Roberts, is a pull no punches approach to individualism throughout. (Several examples provided in the hidden comments.)


Starting with the Jackson Pollock painting, she brushes it off with something along the line of: "You don't have to like it, but you at least have to consider it", while reassuring her class that no paper will be required.

When Betty Warren, the editor of the school paper, writes a scathing article about Ms. Watson's subversive role against the traditions of Wesley College, the response is a head-on address of the issue, via an extemporaneous lesson in her classroom identifying the actual position the editorial espouses.

At the end of her liaison with a fellow teacher, Bill Dunbar; after meeting a friend of his who served with him during the war; she points out that the relationship was based on a lie. He promises to make good, if she only gives him another chance, and she asks:

Why couldn't you just be honest?

Bill: You don't make it easy. You're so perfect, you . . . It's impossible to be honest with your. I . . .

Katherine: For you, it is.

Another student, whom Katherine found out had a desire to go to law school, she was especially succinct in a parting comment after Joan told her:

You stand in class and tell us to look beyond the image, But you don't. To you, a housewife is someone who sold her soul for a center hall colonial. She has no depth, no intellect, no interests. You're the one who said,I could do anything I wanted. This is what I want.

Katherine: Congratulations. Be happy.

The examples given are of very tactful responses given during the course of the movie. See it for yourself, if you haven't already. Whether you buy it, rent it, or borrow it . . . it doesn't matter. Just see it.

Edited by dream_weaver
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