Lancome, “L’Absolu Nu”

Cosmetics ads really can be preposterous. In this new spot for Lancôme, directed by the famed photographer Mario Testino, we see Kate Winslet rolling around blissfully in the nude under a white sheet in an all-white apartment with white roses sitting on a white table between two white chairs. She’s seen smiling, chuckling and possible moaning into a white phone, conversing with someone who is never revealed (probably a white person, though!). Then we finally get a splash of color, as she applies one of Lancôme’s new L’Absolu Nu lipsticks. Somewhere along the way, a memo must have gone out forbidding cosmetics advertising—and other fashion-related ads, particularly fragrance work—from resembling anything like real life. The pose is everything—and here, Winslet’s pose is pure Madonna, with a little bit of Rose DeWitt Bukater thrown in. Stylish? I suppose so, although it’s getting pretty close to farcical. For an Oscar winner like Winslet, that’s a tricky place to be. Unless she wants to start doing comedies. -Tim Nudd