Inspired by Louis Bayard of Salon, who argues the death of the beauty pageant, we have a treat for you after the jump. "Even as a gay man," writes Bayard, "I couldn't find joy or fun in last night's monument to wax figurines and Donald Trump." He's referring to the Miss Universe Pageant, which has remained about skin and double-sided tape despite (for-appearances-only?) attempts to refocus the criteria on some kind of merit. Bayard argues that this "carnal philosophy has reaped its reward. Miss Universe is in the pink: stinking with ad revenue, sprawling across a two-hour expanse of network television. The whole enterprise should be neon with triumph, and yet it's every bit as gray as an annual report. For that's exactly what it is. A celebration of a company and the man behind it."
Instead of looking for flaws in the women at pageants who present themselves like "waxed fruit," we offer some male attempts at beautification.
-Check out these photos of Sean Penn in the upcoming This Must Be The Place (he's playing a rocker, not a woman). And there's a long line of Hollywood stars who have donned red lipstick before him: Robin Williams in Mrs. Doubtfire, Matt Damon in The Good Shepherd, Dustin Hoffman in Tootsie, and Johnny Depp in Before Night Falls, among others. (Patrick Swayze, Terence Stamp and Jude Law (below) also made lovely women.) We think Depp is ahead here. We'll spare you the swimsuit competition.
- The Playlist picked up Production Weekly's announcement that Nick Cassavetes has cast a handful of blondes in his film Yellow, a fitting title. Sienna Miller (pictured, with a young Gina Rowlands, Cassavetes' mother, who also stars), Lucy Punch (Woody Allen's You Will Meet A Tall, Dark Stranger), Ben Foster (who starred in Cassavetes' Alpha Dog), and Melanie Griffith have joined the cast. The original script, written by Cassavetes and wife Heather Wahlquist, centers on a drug-addicted woman and her family secrets. Cassavetes' last three films were based on existing source material and vary thematically: My Sister's Keeper, from the Jodi Picoult novel, grossed just under $50 million domestic; Alpha Dog, a true story, grossed $15.2 million; and the most successful, The Notebook, at $81 million, was based on the Nicolas Sparks novel. Yellow gives Cassavetes the chance to declare his own cinematic voice.
- In other casting news, at least three actors will test for the co-starring role in Mission: Impossible 4 with franchise veteran Tom Cruise (who is also producing with J.J. Abrams). Keven Zegers (Vampires), Christopher Egan (Letters to Juliet) and by far the most interesting candidate, Anthony Mackie (The Hurt Locker), whose upcoming projects include The Adjustment Bureau.
Here's Jude Law in Sally Potter's Rage: