Mona Lisa Smile
About a week ago, I found a Mona Lisa Smile dvd on
sale for $4 and bought it. I saw the movie at The Strand with my mom when it first came out, and I remember feeling neutral about it. I watched it last night, and I'm kind of surprised that I had not become obsessed with this movie after first seeing it! It's set at Wellesley College in the early 50s, and tells the story of an art history teacher who attempts to reshape the way her students view modern art (don't laugh, I know I'm super sensitive - the scene where they walk up to the uncrated Jackson Pollack and look at it for the first time made me cry).
There's something about seeing art
that I'm aware of in our present time viewed in a different time period - it almost makes the art itself seem different (I know that all art is viewed in an overall different way depending on the times and then the viewer's personal surroundings, but I mean that even for just myself it felt different - a van gogh 55 years younger than it is now, and a society where everyone followed a dress code staring at it, and what it might have/must have meant to them and what they overlooked and failed to see in it). Social circumstances effect the way we see art so heavily, and seeing the way the girls viewed art in the movie (and hearing their pre-conceived notions) was so interesting, and somewhat reminiscent of my first art history classes.
On top of all the wonderful and interesting
perceptions of art, the costumes are stunning. I got so many ideas for outfits from Julia Roberts' character (she was supposed to be non-conformist, so it was neat to see the way they applied classic 1950s styles to her - lots of high-waisted skirts with mens-style shirts and cardigans and jewelry). It was also really cool to see actresses that I've become fond of in recent years who I did not know of when the movie first came out, like Ginnifer Goodwin. And the music is lovely - there's an acapella version of "Istanbul, Not Constantinople" (which I love because I'm fascinated by the way that Americans in the 1940s and 50s glorified exotic places, i.e. Casablanca and fancy Chinese restaurants).
So anyway, that is my ramble about
Mona Lisa Smile (also a great title! I love mona lisa, she is all green, grey, and beige, and I love that her smile has become iconic). Have any of you seen it and did you also love it? I hope you all had a wonderful weekend. Sketchbook pages soon.