ANDREW COLLINS:FILM OF THE DAY Mona Lisa Smile★★★ 6.40-9.00pm Movie Mix
If you’re in the mood for an “inspirational teacher” movie, this 2003 period tale set in the fetching, well-to-do environs of Wellesley, Massachusetts, could do the trick. Directed by Mike Newell, it stars Julia Roberts as an idealistic new art teacher arriving in the mid-50s at the real-life Wellesley College who ruffles faculty feathers by disregarding the syllabus in favour of free-thinking at a time when even educated rich girls were in training to be good wives. Kirsten Dunst, Julia Stiles and Maggie Gyllenhaal are among her initially recalcitrant students, and a pre-Wire Dominic West the war-hero language prof who pursues her. It’s all decorous and leafy, and — unless you desire surprises — is a warm, female-centric way to spend an evening.
Willem Dafoe saves the world, without a cape, in Martin Scorsese’s portrait of Jesus Christ. It caused an almighty uproar on its initial release for daring to show the Messiah as having very human foibles.