Monday, February 28, 2011

Camelot Shmamelot

Bookmark and Share

File:Mona Lisa face 800x800px.jpgI watched a movie recently called "Mona Lisa Smile".  It was about a woman who, in early 1950's America, goes to teach art history at a prestigious university for young women.  I was initially drawn to the cast and the idea of art being featured, as I studied the same discipline back in my university days.

The audience is at first lead to believe in the utopia of the 1950's culture with traditional, family values and the sweetness and innocence of that time in history.  But in no time at all, we saw that the professor was seen as a social outcast due to her single status and "radical" views of women's liberation.

At first the repressed attitudes and roles of women seemed invisible and silent.  However as the teacher became more immersed into the lives of her students and the society around her, this repression was palpable with sad and devastating results.

Actual corsets may have been discarded decades ago, but invisible corsets still existed in forms of sexism, social pressures and expectations, having a strangle hold on the women of the 1950's. 
Scene from "Mona Lisa Smile"

These young women were supposed to feel lucky to attend such a good school.  But the reality was that they were merely in a holding pattern until their future husbands came into the picture.  Then, the girls were meant to disregard any professional life dreams to serve as dutiful wives and mothers.  Those who opposed this inevitable process was deemed an outcast and treated like a pariah.

I loved this more gritty view of 1950's America.  It was well written and well acted.  In the midst of all the heavy story lines, I enjoyed all of the featured artwork.  The reason for the title of this film?  Mona Lisa's smile has always been the subject of much discussion.  Is this a happy smile?  Or was it the smile of a woman from another time who also felt repressed and saddened by the society in which she was restrained?  You be the judge and enjoy this meaty movie!

You too can feel a bit of the 1950's...

Mona Lisa Smile

Vintage 50s GREEN FLORAL Garden Party Full Skirt Dress

Vintage 50s IMPRESSIONIST Floral Full Skirt Party Dress

1 comment:

Anthea said...

This was such a great movie. I loved Julia Roberts. It's true..even today there are those dresses..

I'm having a contest and would love it if you entered!!