: : : Mona Lisa Smile

Story

Julia Roberts's command of the screen is so effortless, it's easy for moviegoers to take her for granted--but we shouldn't. Mona Lisa Smile--about a noncomformist teacher at a private school who encourages students to pursue their individuality--is pretty much an all-girls version of Dead Poets Society that mixes '50s fashions with '70s feminist thought. 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

DVD Features

  • Color
  • Closed-captioned
  • Widescreen
  • Dolby

Cast

Julia RobertsKatherine Ann Watson
Kirsten DunstBetty Warren
Julia StilesJoan Brandwyn
Maggie GyllenhaalGiselle Levy
Ginnifer GoodwinConnie Baker
Dominic WestBill Dunbar
Juliet StevensonAmanda Armstrong
Marcia Gay HardenNancy Abbey
John SlatteryPaul Moore
Marian SeldesPresident Jocelyn Carr
Laura AllenSusan Delacorte
Topher GraceTommy Donegal
Jordan BridgesSpencer Jones
Ebon Moss-BachrachCharlie Stewart
Krysten RitterArt History Student

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