Mona Lisa Smile
Sometimes movies resonate more with audiences than with the critics. That was definitely the case with our next Rialto Recommends. MONA LISA SMILE was released for Christmas in 2003 with a stellar cast that included Julia Roberts, Julia Stiles, Kristen Dunst, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Gennifer Goodwin, Dominic West, Juliet Stevenson, Marcia Gay Harden, John Slattery, and Marian Seldes. In 1953, a time when women's roles were rigidly defined, free-spirited, novice art history professor Katherine Watson begins teaching at the prestigious all-female Wellesley College--which despite its academic reputation, is an environment where success is measured by 'how well' the students marry. Encouraging these women to strive for a more enlightened future, Watson challenges the administration and inspires her students to look beyond the image of what is, and consider the possibilities of what could be--contrary to popular belief. The Washington Post said "Anyone who's ever been moved by a teacher to dream a slightly bigger dream than his parents thought he or she was capable of achieving ought to love the film, for it gets at a truer model of teacher's inspiration." The Boston Globe declared "The reliable Mike Newell directs Mona Lisa Smile with such assurance that the important moments are never mawkish or dull, and he encourages the women to act with absolute conviction." And the Los Angeles Times said "MONA LISA SMILE lets us spend some quality time with some of the finest actresses in American film as they give energetic life to one of the most radically underrepresented minorities in Hollywood: the intelligent woman." MONA LISA SMILE is streaming on HBOMax, Hoopla and Tubi or is available to rent for a modest fee from Amazon, FandangoNow, Vudu, Redbox, Apple, GooglePlay, YouTube and others HERE.