I can’t say that I’ve ever really disagreed with Esquire magazine’s annual “Sexiest Woman Alive” choices. I mean, why would I? Halle Berry? Charlize Theron? Scarlett Johansson? Jessica Biel? While most of us will never have a chance even to breathe in close proximity to such overt loveliness, we can certainly appreciate it from afar. And appreciate it, we do.
But Esquire may have outdone itself this year with Kate Beckinsale. C’mon. She’s top of the line. I first remember her in Pearl Harbor (2001), an otherwise not very good World War II pic that spiked for popularity every time she appeared before the camera. It was on the basis of that film that I tumbled for the romantic Serendipity (2001) and was willing to sit through the fast-moving but ultimately unrewarding Underworld (2003). This British beauty won my heart again, all curves and coos, in Martin Scorcese’s The Aviator (2004), playing Ava Gardner. I’m even willing to sit through the new, roundly panned Antarctica thriller, Whiteout, just to see Ms. Beckinsale again.
It’s hard to believe, looking at the photos in Esquire and watching the mag’s exclusive, tantalizing video of her undressing on a staircase, that this woman is a 36-year-old mother.