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Mona Lisa Smile

Mona Lisa Smile is a 2003 American drama film produced by Revolution Studios and Columbia Pictures in association with Red Om Films Productions, directed by Mike Newell, written by Lawrence Konner and Mark Rosenthal, and starring Julia Roberts, Kirsten Dunst, Julia Stiles, and Maggie Gyllenhaal. The title is a reference to the Mona Lisa, the famous painting by Leonardo da Vinci, and to the song of the same name, originally performed by Nat King Cole, which was covered by Seal for the movie. Julia Roberts received a record $25 million for her performance, the highest ever earned by an actress at that time.

Plot

In 1953, Katherine Ann Watson, a 30-year-old graduate student in the department of Art History at UCLA and Oakland State, takes a position teaching History of Art at Wellesley College, a women's private liberal arts college in Massachusetts. At her first class, Katherine discovers that her students have already memorized the entire textbook and syllabus, so she uses the classes to introduce them to modern art and encourages discussion about topics such as what makes good art. Katherine comes to know her students and seeks to inspire them to achieve more than marriage to eligible young men.