Via Althouse, I came to a fascinating little photo essay at the Daily Mail online. It's a side-by-side of some modern celebrities, and the Old Skool celebrities that they resemble. The headline asks, "Do today's icons measure up to their classic lookalikes?"
Just for S&G's, let's find out. No politics. No nostalgia. Let's just see who looks better -- as a combination of beauty and style -- because appearance is what really matters, right?
George Clooney vs. Cary Grant: This seems to me like a no-brainer. Clooney's good looking on his own, but next to Grant he looks like an over-surgeried boy-man. Point for the old guard. 0-1
January Jones vs. Grace Kelly: I have to remind myself that we're not judging talent, interview skill, or choice-of-roles here. It's just pure looks and fashion. Jones actually has more of an old-style, low-cheekbone classical look. That picture also gives her more of a pouting-19th Century painting look. In fact, if you made her picture black and white, you might think that Kelly was the modern day actress -- there's a little more vivacity there. This is a close one, very nearly a tie. Based on these pictures, it's Jones. 1-1
Penelope Cruz vs. Sophia Loren: Seriously? 1-2
David Beckham vs. Errol Flynn: This is almost an apples to oranges comparison. Beckham and Flynn are two very different kinds of style and face structure. Were I choosing someone to put up against Flynn, I'd probably pick Sean Penn. Still, a choice is a choice. Beckham has a really great Clint Eastwood vibe going in that picture, so we'll give it to the Tyros. 2-2
Brad Pitt vs. Robert Redford: When both were in their prime, this would be a much closer contest. But it looks like they're comparing the older versions of these two actors. That's Redford's territory, hands-down. 2-3
Carey Mulligan vs. Mia Farrow: This gets my vote for the picture that started this column. Someone (Claire Cisotti) probably saw the picture of Carey Mulligan... who is... I'm not sure exactly.... and said, "WOW she looks like Mia Farrow." A column idea is born. These two are, in this picture at least, basically twins. But Farrow looks like she'd be more fun. 2-4
Keira Knightley vs. Audrey Hepburn: This match-up seems to be the result of, "But it's Audrey Hepburn. We have to include her. Who can we credibly put up against her?" A hair cut doesn't do it. Neither does being thin. I would have picked Natalie Portman for the Hepburn match-up myself. They're much closer in terms of their style and the "type" of beauty they have. But with that said, I've always been a fan of Hepburn's acting rather than her looks, and I think Knightley's earth-scorching drop-dead hotness comes out on top here. 3-4
Scarlett Johansson vs. Marilyn Monroe: Marilyn Monroe is typically thought to be better looking than she actually was, in my opinion. But I'm evaluating the beauty of a person (or the picture of a person), not a concept. Johansson has the worse picture, but they probably had to pick a bad picture of her to make it seem like a fair fight. 4-4
Catherine Zeta-Jones vs. Cyd Charisse: That sound you just heard was Cyd Charisse scraping Zeta-Jones off the bottom of her shoe. 4-5
Hugh Jackman vs. Clint Eastwood: Physically this is a dead tie, as near as my woman-oriented libido can tell. But I try to imagine Hugh Jackman saying, "Just because we're holding hands doesn't mean we're going to take long, hot showers together till the wee hours of the morning," I choke on my coffee because he doesn't have the mystique to pull that off. Personal style is part of this competition, so Clint takes it. 4-6
James Franco vs. James Dean: Like the Farrow competition, above, this is like comparing twins. One of whom is strung out on meth and drinks too much. But that's like the worst picture of James Dean on the first page of the Google Image search, and a strikingly good picture of James Franco. Victory is officially out of reach of the new guard with our first tie. 4-6-1
Katie Holmes vs. Natalie Wood: The caption says "Katie Holmes and Natalie Wood captivate with a glance." There are some things missing from that sentence. It should read, "Katie Holmes. (pause) And Natalie Wood captivates with a glance." 4-7-1
Old Skool wins. As my friend Russell once said, "It's a (bleep) when those twentieth level fighters come out of retirement."
And that's my frivolous, superficial opinion for the day.