March 30, 2006

"I've lived in my face."

Says Ali MacGraw, who's 67 and comfortable with a face like "a road map." An excellent road map:



There, now. It's nice to be elegantly, comfortably old, perhaps. Don't you think?

UPDATE: By contrast, consider Sharon Stone, as she appears in "Basic Instinct 2." As Manohla Dargis puts it, "man, does she look weird here." She sure doesn't look like Sharon Stone anymore:

36 comments:

Harkonnendog said...

Yeah... and I don't mind driving my slow Corvette around, Pamela Anderson has come to accept her small breasts,
and Jack Bauer doesn't mind pushing papers all day.

MD said...

What a stunner. Her face tells a million stories, which is the way an actor should look, I suppose. I love how her hair is still so Love Story-ish and the 'wearing a turtleneck and facing the camera with chin in hand pose' is just right, if a tad cliched.

Don't you feel a bit sad when you see Terry Hatcher and, lately, Nicole Kidman, with their faces pulled so tight? The fight between having no body fat and no wrinkles? Let one or the other give, ladies! Although, who am I to talk? I'm 30-mumble-mumble and the other day I looked in the mirror and thought, hmmmmm, the little lines around the eyes! Maybe I should.....

AllenS said...

Ann,

Beauty is recognizing reality. Look at the picture of the flower below.

jeff said...

Sharon Stone doesn't look a day over 30 in that photo. All praise good plastic surgery, makeup and photo retouching!

Balfegor said...

Nicole Kidman

She was in Cold Mountain, right? She just did not look right in that movie. Looked far, far too old for the role she was playing. I can accept that in, opera or the stage, where the face is so tiny and there's so much else to create the impression, but a film uses close-ups, so having a face that looks ten years too old just snaps me out of the state of suspended disbelief.

Ann Althouse said...

AllenS: "Beauty is recognizing reality."

I like that a lot. It's also a reason not to take drugs to enhance perception and pleasure. The world that is is what is beautiful. If you don't see that already, at least don't do anything that will take you farther away from seeing it. Concentrate! See what is and learn to value that.

Brendan said...

I remember being a sick, bedridden HS sophomore who had nothing better to do than watch "Winds of War." That's when I fell in love with Ms. McGraw.

37383938393839383938383 said...

Hey, I don't know what the problem is. I'd live in both their faces. Yes, this was ironic. No, no it wasn't.

MadisonMan said...

It would be very jarring to see a smooth Ali McGraw face on top of those gnarled hands.

I think she looks stunning.

Johnny Nucleo said...

AllenS: "Beauty is recognizing reality."

I agree. I think.

Beauty and truth are the same. To recognize truth is to recognize beauty, and the act of recognition is itself beautiful. By reality, do you mean truth? Or do you mean "the world"? If so "the world" can be quite ugly.

esk said...

md wrote: Don't you feel a bit sad when you see Terry Hatcher and, lately, Nicole Kidman, with their faces pulled so tight?

Actually, no, are you sure they've had work done? Sheesh, I don't think Nicole is even 40 yet. And, if it's true that 40 is the new 20 (or 50 the new 30) she doesn't have to worry about it for a while.

amba said...

Oh., good heavens yes, Nicole has had work done. Botox at the very least, probably more.

I saw Sharon Stone on Larry King Live some months ago and posted (I apologize for linking to myself again, if you're disgusted just don't go there) that "She still looks great, of course. But she no longer looks like Sharon Stone. She's gotten that generic, expressionless, off-the-shelf faux-young look that tucked, tugged and tweaked faces get. . . . Who is this beautiful woman? No one in particular, any more."

That effect freaks me out. How someone can want so badly to look young that they're willing to look like someone completely different -- or nobody at all. It's like selling your soul to the devil. And your fingertips don't have fingerprints on them anymore.

That said -- it's not like I haven't considered it. Fortunately, I can't afford it. Not having the $20,000 or whatever to spare is like not having a gun in the house so my husband and I can't kill each other when we have a fight. But looking in the mirror, the "ravages of age" can be hard to stomach.

vw: ojbwjz (an Indian tribe in Wisconsin that intermarried with Poles?)

Mitch said...

That picture looks like it was shot through 20 ga. sheet steel and blurred in PhotoShop to the point that Mother Theresa would look like Anna Nicole Smith or Francis the Talking Mule, depending on how you squint. Give me a break.

chuck b. said...

It would have been great if David Cronenberg got to direct Basic Instinct II.

Finn Kristiansen said...

Such hypocrisy. It's a dark night, you are alone, and approached by Ali, or Sharon. All these "beauty is reality people" would abandon reality teut de suite, leaving Ali alone with her wrinkled wisdom and face of a million horror stories.

There's a reason people in Hollywood go for all these changes; the public demands it, and has nearly no ability to pay attention to women after they hit a certain age. (Nor do producers/directors particularly thrill to doing films with actresses that don't inspire their "muse" (aka penis or "no no spot").

There are people who recognize reality, remain "natural" and for all that realism, still look like the dogs end dragged through civil war.

Beauty just is, or isn't.

hygate said...

You’re kidding, right? Ali McGraw is sixty-seven years old and in that picture she looks like she might be in her mid forties at most. I don't see a face like a road map, I see a few crows feet, otherwise her face is completely smooth. She has probably had more work than Sharon Stone.

Ann Althouse said...

Amba: "That effect freaks me out. How someone can want so badly to look young that they're willing to look like someone completely different -- or nobody at all."

"Number 12 Looks Just Like You."

Ann Althouse said...

Mitch: "That picture looks like it was shot through 20 ga. sheet steel and blurred in PhotoShop to the point that Mother Theresa would look like Anna Nicole Smith..."

I think you're trying to descibe the lack of wrinkles. Conceded. It doesn't explain why all the features look different, and she doesn't look like Sharon Stone anymore. It also doesn't count for Manohla Dargis's statement based on seeing the movie. And all the other pictures we've seen of Stone lately.

bearbee said...

Road Map and looking fine.

This morning I watched a CBS 4am news clip of a group of 90 year old former Cotton Club dancers tapping dancing away. They may not have been 'elegantly' beautiful but they were beautiful and full of life.....

AllenS said...

Althousefan,

The picture of the flower was beautiful reality. That's why I referenced it in my post. I knew this 18 year old lady in the 1970's. She was very attractive with this long curly black hair. Seen her a year ago, and she has some wrinkles on her face (no makeup) and her hair is all gray. She is still beautiful. She hasn't tried to hide the reality of aging. The problem I have with movie stars, is that they make a living pretending to be somebody they're not. When you see them on the screen, it isn't reality.

amba said...

Finn:

There's a reason people in Hollywood go for all these changes; the public demands it, and has nearly no ability to pay attention to women after they hit a certain age . . .

Yeah but . . . do you find fake youth attractive? Doesn't it just look fake? You wouldn't want to look too closely. I once went on a camping trip with a bunch of socialites in their 30s and 40s, as a writing assignment. They'd almost all had breast implants or breast reduction. They looked good in clothes, but naked?? Fuhgeddaboudit.

The fact is these fixed-up women can look good for a while on camera, which is their living, so OK. But how do they look in real life? That's more pertinent to most of us who don't live or work on camera. Having cosmetic surgery may make you "feel better about yourself," but it doesn't fool anybody else. Dyed hair looks dyed. Cosmetic-surgeried women do not look YOUNG. Young women look young. You've got it for a while and then you lose it, and there ain't nothin' you can really do about it.

When I see the Oscars, I always think Judi Dench looks wonderful. She's not trying to be something she's not, and she looks like an actual, richly charactered human being, not a fantasy in a porn videogame. Pssst . . . sex isn't everything.

Balfegor said...

You've got it for a while and then you lose it, and there ain't nothin' you can really do about it.

You can bathe in the blood of virgins.

tcd said...

Has anyone seen an un-retouched picture of Sharon Stone? She's not aging well in the face. And I think it's because she has a thin face, one that lost the baby fat a long time ago or never had much baby fat to begin with. I used to hate my baby fat but now, I just hope I can hold onto it well into my 40s (I'm 31 right now).

Ron said...

Why should we care about Sharon Stone's plastic surgury? It's not as if she made her rep on people looking at her...face.

Eli Blake said...

Hey, plastic surgery can make anyone look like a 30 year old white woman. Just look at Michael Jackson.

amba said...

LOL, Balfegor and Eli.

dmc_in_washington said...

I just watched the trailer at

http://www.sonypictures.com/movies/basicinstinct2/

Stone does indeed look "weird" and has clearly had plastic surgery. Her eyes look almost Asian in some scenes. You know who she really resembles? Madonna -- same haircut, great body, and with skin seemingly too tight for the face.

seamus said...

Nicole Kidman can't act with her face anymore. In "The Interpreter," she was only able to show emotion by blinking faster. Her eyes seem to be migrating centimeters outward every year, like some kind of tectonic fault.

I saw Sharon Stone on the Daily Show last night. If she wasn't so insane, I wouldn't have known it was her. Absolutely, she doesn't look like Sharon Stone anymore.

Christy said...

My ladies-who-lunch had a plastic surgeon in to speak a couple of months ago. Apparently the party line is that plastic surgery should be done early and often. During the entire talk my friend would lean over and show me the scars from the procedure talked about, or tell me which skin procedures she didn't find cost effective. My friend (60ish) looks good, but doesn't look young - 40ish. I think problems come from people who want big changes or complete cures for what's slipping.

I also think it is tough for people who have been great beauties all their lives to become accustomed to not getting incredible amounts of attention. Let us face it, many of us allow our identities to build upon whatever gifts we received. We of the early-thinning-cortex like to laugh at the vanity of beauty, but are no better.

From what I hear, one should get the name of a good surgeon in Brazil. For less than the cost of the procedure here, one can fly down, have the procedure, and be waited on hand and foot in a clinic for a week. Here it is an office procedure and one goes home to recuperate.

Ann Althouse said...

Christy: "We of the early-thinning-cortex..."

LOL.

Johnny Nucleo said...

AllenS,

The beautiful flower will wilt and die. That's reality. People don't fear aging, they fear death.

chuck b. said...

I have a mad, makes-no-sense love for Sharon Stone, whacked out, lightly talented, nutburger that she is. I think she looks fine.

Dave said...

I don't know if you watch the Showtime show Huff, but Sharon Stone is apparently a guest star on it this upcoming season.

I saw her in a pre-season interview, and she looked quite odd in it. To say nothing of what she was saying, which was vaguely incoherent.

amba said...

"The problem with beauty is that it's like being born rich and getting poorer."

--Joan Collins

amba said...

Ron: she's probably had plastic surgery "down there," too. It's all the rage. Women want to look like Penthouse Pets.

knoxgirl said...

yikes