The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part
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Though Mona Lisa Smile espouses the value of breaking barriers, the movie itself is predictable and safe.
All Critics (152)
| Top Critics (43)
| Fresh (51)
| Rotten (101)
| DVD (14)
The cartoon notions of the '50s and snooty Easterners say more about Hollywood cluelessness than about the period the film condescends to...lacking the courage of its own vulgarity, Mona Lisa Smile is as tepid as old bathwater.
Roberts asks her students rhetorical questions: What makes art good or bad? Who decides? But the movie answers them as canonically as the syllabus Roberts abandons.
Women of the Fifties, rise up in protest.
In terms of the gap between the movie it's trying to be and the movie it actually is, Mona Lisa Smile is in many ways indefensible. Yet for all its problems, it's satisfyingly movielike.
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.
Like the turtleneck cashmere sweaters and girdles that tie down these promising women, the movie is trite and trussed.
Just what we need: a pyjama party posing as a movie.
Glossy entertainment value but far from art.
Kirsten Dunst, Julia Stiles and Maggie Gyllenhaal furnish well-observed performances that frequently outshine Julia Roberts's reflex characterization in this female variant of "Dead Poets Society."
Period dress, set design, manners and acting are fine--as is Mike Newell's direction. If only the script was less predictable.
...would have been better served by characters with a little less formula than the paint-by-numbers projects so loved by these women of Wellesley College.
Mike Newell directs a formulaic Roberts vehicle that isn't without its charm.
A nice film that Julia Roberts played outstandingly.
Mona Lisa Smile,which is set in 1953/54, tells the story of Katherine Ann Watson (played by Julia Roberts), a teacher who studied at UCLA graduate school who leaves her boyfriend behind in Los Angeles to teach at Wellesley College, a conservative women's private liberal arts college in Massachusetts........
she encourages her students to study to become career professionals,she wants her students to lead the world and not just to live as the wife of somebody. She uses modern art to suggest that they need not conform to female stereotype.
Julia Roberts plays a teacher in the mid-1950's when colleges like Wellesley seem to exist just to prepare young women to be housewives, not independent people. Similar to 'To Sir with Love', the teacher has to not only teach, but inspire her students to strive to do the best they can.
Mona Lisa Smile tries to be something unique and relies on it's all-star female audience far too much. Although I did enjoy it, there seems to be no real qualities to the plot. The cast really keeps your interest in this film and the social context, in which it's set, leaves you with some interesting questions.
*Worth a try*
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