Julia Roberts leads an all-star cast in a story of women struggling to define themselves in a world that has already defined them. Katherine Watson (Roberts) travels from California to the New England campus of prestigious Wellesley College in 1953 to teach art history. She expects her students, the country’s best and brightest, to take advantage of the opportunities presented to them, but soon discovers an environment steeped in conformity. When Katherine encourages her students to think independently, she runs afoul of conservative forces including the uppercrust Betty (Kirsten Dunst). She becomes a role model and mentor, and through her students’ trials to find their own way, Katherine learns to chart a different course for herself in the process.