Mona Lisa Smile is a smart and provocative period drama that's especially well-crafted. The story follows an art instructor who comes to the elite women's college Wellesley during the 1950s and upsets the establishment with her unconventional teaching methods. With an all-star cast that includes Julia Roberts, Kirsten Dunst, Julia Stiles, and Maggie Gyllenhaal, the performances in the film are excellent. The writing is also quite good, particularly in how it explores the role of women in the '50s, and the expectations of upper society. Yet there are some weaknesses in the plot, and a few of the characters are underdeveloped. Compelling and inspired, Mona Lisa Smile is an impressive film.