mona lisa smile

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mona lisa smile

Postby mcv on Thu Oct 09, 2008 2:35 am

let's talk about this movie once and for all. why do people think it's awful? it's quite nice.
it's beautifully shot.
it's beautifully acted.
great outfits.
great music.
good pacing.
it never drags.
the dialogue is often affecting.
it's just a good period piece.
i think 20 years from now, people will respect it more.
it's the kind of movie no one will ever think of making nowadays.

sorry, but i watched this back to back with prime of miss jean brodie.
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Postby berlioz on Thu Oct 09, 2008 10:11 am

i watched it last year again and i have to admit i enjoyed it much more than the first time i saw it. good performances all around (except for stiles, i think she looks/sounds terrible), especially by gyllenhal and marcia gay harden. my biggest complain is about julia's character, not well defined, in my opinion, and not very charismatic: at the end of the movie i was concerned/interested about betty's and gisele's future but i just couldn't care less about katherine, i found her bidimensional and boring. and the script sometimes is clever and insightful but sometimes is so didascalic ("marriage or university? you can do both").
overall i think it's a good movie but it didn't add anything to julia's glory because her character and her lines were the least interesting things of the movie, imo. i love when she's the center of it all and you really feel for her character (mbfw, erin b, but also closer: it was an ensemble but anna's character was complex and intriguing).
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Re: mona lisa smile

Postby berlioz on Tue Nov 19, 2013 9:32 am

i watched the movie again yesterday (it think for the 4th time), as we are near to the 10th anniversary from its release and from the first time i watched it at the theatre (now that i think about it, at the time it was much easier finding people willing to watch julia roberts movies at the theatres!). it is better when i watch it during fall or xmas time lol.
as i wrote in my previous post, i think it's a good movie, but it's just one of those rare cases where the film is better than julia and not the other way around. not only, as a producer, she should have had her character re-written but also her overall performance kind of lacks energy... i hated betty, i felt sad for gisele and m.g. harden's character, i rooted for connie but i just couldn't fine any connection with katherine's character. but the film is solid imo, it has some entertaining moments and it's beautiful to watch. i think time has been generous to this film: it may not be a classic as mbfw or notting hill but i think it's the movie that julia's fan base appreciate/remember the most of her 2003-2013 career (with EPL).

also, i discovered lily rabe from american horror story is a chubby and mute student of julia's class! i didn't know that!
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Re: mona lisa smile

Postby Mark on Wed Nov 20, 2013 3:26 am

it was her first lead after winning oscar
people expected more oscar
forgetting she is not oscar-friendly in her career 95% of the time
the reviews were terrible
it cost $65 million, but the budget should have been at $35-40 million

elaine clashed with everyone on set especially mike newell
he didn't even show up to the premiere

the editing/pacing was the worst thing about the movie
it felt like the studio wanted something else and cut it accordingly

it was a very crowded holiday
it was the first sign the era of the movie star was over
it did end up being quite big on vhs/dvd and did a little better worldwide
and i think it plays well on tv
it was originally meant for summer, but was pushed to fall
it feels like a fall movie

it is a comfort movie
i related to julia in the movie
but she didn't stretch herself
i loved how they made katherine difficult for this big studio movie and her breakup with the professor was done in such a grey way... it wasn't black and white. felt like life, but wasn't given the appropriate time it deserved. felt very james l brooks ish.

julia stiles was out of her element. as was topher grace. but the rest of the cast was quite good. i loved juliette stevensen (who would later go on to say how conflicted the set was with all the creative people).

overall i wish she did decided not to make the film.

in retrospect after erin i wish she only made ocean's eleven the following year
like that she chose full frontal/confessions
i think if she had taken 2003 off
came back with closer/ocean's twelve
then returned with charlie wilson's war, duplicity, valentine's day/eat pray love, fireflies,
i wish she turned down larry crowne
and returned with mirror, mirror

mona lisa smile
the mexican
america's sweethearts
larry crowne

i feel like all her choices are pretty gutsy even when they are mainstream. but these four films played it too safe.
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Re: mona lisa smile

Postby berlioz on Wed Nov 20, 2013 8:29 am

despite all its flaws, i'm happy julia did this film because she gave her fan base something they liked (the movie did well overseas and was not a total flop in usa either); i mean, closer is obviously a better movie, but many juli fans found it too artsy or just didn't care for it.
i'm not sure the results of mona lisa smile marked the end of the movie star era since will Smith and sandra Bullock had their biggest non-franchise movies after 2003. it sure did mark theend of julia's reign though... in 1999-2000 it would have grossed at least 100 millions even with its bad reviews.
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