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Mona Lisa Smile

Maggie’s Character: Giselle Levy
Release Date: 19 December 2003 (USA)
Directed By: Mike Newell
Screenwriter: Lawrence Konner & Mark Rosenthal
Genre: Drama | Romance
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sexual content and thematic issues.
Runtime: 117 min.
Box Office #’s: here

Cast Highlights:
Kirsten Dunst
Julia Stiles
Julia Roberts
Ginnifer Goodwin
Dominic West
Marcia Gay Harden

Katherine Ann Watson has accepted a position teaching art history at the prestigious Wellesley College. Watson is a very modern woman, particularly for the 1950s, and has a passion not only for art but for her students. For the most part, the students all seem to be biding their time, waiting to find the right man to marry. The students are all very bright and Watson feels they are not reaching their potential. Altough a strong bond is formed between teacher and student, Watson’s views are incompatible with the dominant culture of the college.

From the Gallery

Trailer

Trivia

  • Lecture Hall scenes were filmed at Columbia University, which maintains a 50-year-old lecture hall used in many different films.
  • In order to prepare for her role, Julia Roberts observed art history classes at New York University.
  • In order to prepare for their roles, the leads were all put through a finishing school two weeks prior to filming.
  • During the scene in the pool, the girls that can be seen synchronized swimming in the background are the members of the Wheaton College Synchronized Swim Team (in Massachusetts) from the 2002-2003 season.
  • During the dance scene, the a cappella group from Harvard who sang “Istanbul” is a real a cappella group, the Din and Tonics, at Harvard.
  • Producers had originally applied to film at Bryn Mawr College, another one of the Seven Sisters. It is unclear as to why they ultimately went with Wellesley College.
  • Normally blonde Kirsten Dunst dyed her hair brown for the movie while normally brown Julia Stiles has blonde hair.

Character Quotes

Giselle Levy: [in reference to the husband in etiquette class] Whatever you do, don’t put the boss’s wife next to your husband.
Betty Warren: Why not?
Giselle Levy: She’s screwing him.

Connie Baker: And, it was perfect, romantic, we stayed up all night, talking.
Joan Brandwyn: [to Giselle] You’re late, what happened to Sunday brunch?
Giselle Levy: We stayed up all night, too. Not talking.
Connie Baker: The psychoanalyst again.
Giselle Levy: Divine exhaustion.

[Giselle has been secretly seeing a married psychologist]
Betty Warren: Does he pay you for sex? I mean, at the rate you’re going, you could make a fortune.
Joan Brandwyn: Betty!
Betty Warren: Everyone thinks so. Do you know what they say? They say you’re a whore. And pretty soon, once they’ve all sampled you, they’ll toss you aside like a used rag.
Joan Brandwyn: Betty, stop! Now!
Betty Warren: The men you love don’t even want you! Your father doesn’t want you!
Giselle Levy: [to Connie] I’m gonna meet you downstairs.
Betty Warren: Professor Dunbar?
Connie Baker: Betty, that’s enough!
Betty Warren: Everyone knows that you hide outside his house! It must be torturous running after a man who doesn’t even care about you. Who’s in love with someone else. Who hates you!
Giselle Levy: Betty…
Betty Warren: He *hates* you!
[Giselle pulls Betty into a hug]
Betty Warren: Get off of me!
[Betty struggles, but gives in a sobs on Giselle's shoulder]
Betty Warren: [about her husband] He doesn’t want me!
Giselle Levy: [sympathetically] I know…

Katherine Watson: Katherine Watson, nice to meet you.
Giselle Levy: Dr. Watson, I presume?
[the class laughs]
Katherine Watson: Not yet.

Giselle Levy: We call her Flicka.

Giselle Levy: I think there’s something aggressive about it. And erotic.
Betty Warren: To you, everything is erotic.
Giselle Levy: Everything *is* erotic.

Giselle Levy: Betty Warren! We’re so lucky we have one of them right here.

Connie Baker: [holding up a diaphragm] This isn’t what I think it is, is it?
Joan Brandwyn: Where’d you get it?
Giselle Levy: From the school nurse.
Betty Warren: It’s against the law!
Giselle Levy: No, honey, it’s a girl’s best friend.
Betty Warren: A certain kind of girl.
Giselle Levy: Meet the last virgin bride.
Betty Warren: Spencer is a gentleman.
Giselle Levy: And even gentlemen have dicks.
Connie Baker: Maybe I’ll get one!
Giselle Levy: What, a dick?
Betty Warren: Don’t be stupid, Connie!
Connie Baker: [hurt] Someone, somewhere, someday might be interested. Just in case, I’ll be prepared.
[Connie leaves, fighting back tears]
Joan Brandwyn: Was that necessary?
Betty Warren: I was taught it’s best to speak honestly.
Giselle Levy: You’re a bitch.

Giselle Levy: He’s not using you if you want to go. Come here, don’t listen to her.

Giselle Levy: Do I look a little bit like her? I think she’s fabulous.