Sunday, July 18, 2010

Mona Lisa Smile

I adore this movie! Set in the academic year of 1953/1954, Mona Lisa Smile follows the lives of one west coast art history professor (Katherine Watson) and four students (Betty, Joan, Giselle and Connie) at a conservative east coast college. This film is filled with gorgeous outfits and hair from the creme de la creme of Weselley College. It also has many great messages about being a woman.

Katherine Watson played by Julia Roberts teaching her class.

Check out the fabulous lounge wear!

Here's a great shot of Connie (Ginnifer Goodwin) with her hair in pincurls and covered with a cute little wrap! There's also a great scene of Joan (Julia Stiles) with her hair in pincurls!

I adored all of the hats in this movie! Ahhh!!!

Another fab hat!

Even in the 50's, girls knew how to party. (Yes, more hats!)

I loved the party scenes with the amazing 50's dresses!

There was every style of hair imaginable in this film. (well, maybe not quite every, but loads!)

What every 50's housewife was supposed to do, iron and read Chaucer while wearing pearls and an evening gown in an immaculate house. Too bad this was a photo shoot!

Sweaters, pearls and art! Oh, my!

I have to say that Joan was my favorite character. I felt like I had a lot in common with her, being a college student who really just wants to be married and have a family even though she has the potential to do more. I feel like this enlightenment in the film is often overlooked with all of the feminist go-out-and-be-a-free-independent-woman message.

This part is kind of
a spoiler so proceed at your own risk!

Katherine Watson: There are seven law schools within 45 minutes of Philadelphia. You can study and get dinner on the table by 5:00.

Joan Brandwyn
: It's too late.

Katherine Watson
: No, some of them accept late admissions! Now, I was upset at first, I can tell you that. When Tommy came to me at the dance and told me he was accepted to Penn, I thought, 'Oh God, her fate is sealed! She's worked so hard, how can she throw it all away?' But then I realized you won't have to! You can bake your cake and eat it too! It's just wonderful!

Joan Brandwyn
: We're married. We eloped over the weekend. Turned out he was petrified of a bit ceremony, so we did a sort of spur-of-the-moment thing. Very romantic.
[Katherine is stunned]

Joan Brandwyn
: It was my choice, not to go. He would have supported it.

Katherine Watson
: But you don't have to choose!

Joan Brandwyn
: No, I have to. I want a home, I want a family! That's not something I'll sacrifice.

Katherine Watson
: No one's asking you to sacrifice that, Joan. I just want you to understand that you can do both.

Joan Brandwyn
: Do you think I'll wake up one morning and regret not being a lawyer?

Katherine Watson
: Yes, I'm afraid that you will.

Joan Brandwyn
: Not as much as I'd regret not having a family, not being there to raise them. I know exactly what I'm doing and it doesn't make me any less smart. This must seem terrible to you.

Katherine Watson
: I didn't say that.

Joan Brandwyn
: Sure you did. You always do. 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.
I'd rather not turn this into a rant, but I'd love to hear all of your thoughts on modern and vintage ideas about what a woman should be in relation to her career and family.
**End Spoiler**

My favorite thing about this movie is that everyone is changed, is touched. No one is right about everything and everyone is free to be whomever they wish.


  1. So, the formatting freaked out on me a bit... :(

  2. I believe that women are so stinkin awesome that they can work both part and full time and still be an excellent house wife/mom and that the husband can totally work full time and assist with the house work (within reason, of course) : )

    Granted, that first five years between pregnancy and before the child is at school could be difficult. Probably best for her to invest into the child while the man works a little long to make ends meet.