Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Mona Lisa Smile (2003)

I said I wasn't going to be blogging about Netflix anymore ... but I think it's only fair to share with you some of its gems. When we surf Netflix for something to watch (which isn't super often right now because Shae is applying to dental school this week. yipee! ahh! teeth!), we will usually end up saying things like, "Wow this is a terrible selection" and just watch another episode of Parks and Rec. BUT I have found some great things on Netflix (like Broadchurch! Have you started it yet?), and I think I'll share of few of them here in case you're looking for something not lame to watch.

Mona Lisa Smile (2003) dir. Mike Newell (He made Harry Potter 4)

This is one of those film titles that I recognized, but was too young to actually enjoy or be interested in when it came out. I just watched it a couple months ago for the first time and I was really impressed. 

Julia Roberts plays a west coast, free-spirited art history professor and she moves to a preppy all-girls college in New England full of geniuses. She teaches them to not only memorize the art history text book from cover to cover, but to actually interpret meaning and how to understand abstract art, which is pretty progressive thinking for their school. The story also deals a lot with gender roles, expectations of the time (which I found still apply right now) and other feminist issues. 

It has a sweet female-dominated cast including Julia Stiles, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Kirsten Dunst, and Ginnifer Goodwyn, and I just loved all of them in it. Each of them has a compelling storyline regarding finding their role in society and what will make them happiest. Should I get married or go to grad school? etc.

It's set during the mid-20th century and is a cool take on perhaps hidden issues of that time, but I found that the themes were still really relevant today as well. It's really beautifully shot, has really smart, though provoking writing (especially in the art history classroom scenes), great performances, and will make you want to shout "Girlz rule and boyz drool!" Just kidding, but it is really lovely and empowering and I almost cried at the end when they're all on their bikes (just watch it and you'll see). AND it's on Netflix so have at it.

(For any moms reading this (idk?) I probably wouldn't show it to someone under 13 because it's got quite a bit of talk about sexual issues.)

5/5 would recommend to people who like art and women and Julia Roberts.

1 comment:

Kynia said...

I have you to thank for my to-watch list... please don't ever stop xX and good luck to Shae with applying for dental school!!! keep us posted!!