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Painting by numbers

"Mona Lisa Smile" gets 1950s artistic taste wrong. But it gets the decade's mixed messages about conformity and individual possibility right.

By Rebecca Zorach
January 4, 2004

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IN "MONA LISA SMILE," Katherine Watson, the free-spirited, protofeminist art history professor played by Julia Roberts, struggles mightily against the conservative attitudes she encounters at Wellesley College. The year is 1953, and the students are coiffed, pearled, and patrician -- exaggeratedly so, according to Wellesley grads of the period who have stepped forward since the movie's release two weeks ago. (Full Article: 1394 Words)

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