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Pardon the cutting remarks

Times Staff Writer

You can’t fault these actors for their ‘do jobs -- um, we mean day jobs. They are, after all, only playing movie roles that call for reality hair in a make-believe setting. But if this winter’s batch of celluloid locks should start any trends, it won’t be pretty.

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Bangs of New York

As William Cutting, a.k.a. Bill the Butcher in “Gangs of New York,” Daniel Day-Lewis plays the merciless leader of Five Points, an underworld ruled by racketeering, bootlegging, swindling and, worst of all, a bad guy with really, really bad hair. Speaking of five points, here are ours for a Day-Lewis makeover:

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1. Off with the Medusa-style bangs.

2. Lose the caterpillars above the eyes and upper lip.

3. Ever heard of shampoo?

4. Dude, buy a cap.

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5. Next time your barber asks, “So, you here for an oil change or a haircut?,” please, go with the clip job.

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About Schmidt’s comb-over

Don’t snarl and point your finger at us, Jack Nicholson. We can’t help but notice your comb-over coif as Warren Schmidt, whose new purpose in life is to stop his daughter’s marriage in “About Schmidt.” We realize you’re going for a look that says your dome is home to a follicle forest, but we think it’s about time the comb-over is over and out. Even the former comb-over king, Rudy Giuliani, surrendered the signature look last month for a sexier slicked-back Mr. GQ style -- and he’s received only praises, no teases.

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Hairy scary

We’ve seen parentheses in footnotes, warranties and pre-nups but never on a famous face. Taking it on the chin is “About Schmidt’s” Dermot Mulroney, who portrays an underachieving waterbed salesman whose locks are also underachievers. According to production notes, female visitors to the “Schmidt” set refused to believe that Mulroney, who sported a cascading mullet (kept contained in a ponytail for much of the film), was the same guy they swooned over in “My Best Friend’s Wedding.”

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Who’s afraid of the frizzies?

Not Nicole Kidman as Virginia Woolf in “The Hours.” We’re far more accustomed to seeing her with a thick red cascade of curls and romantic tendrils framing her face. But for her role as Woolf, in addition to a prosthetic nose, she wears her tresses straight, parted down the middle, pulled back and bedeviled by pesky fly-away frizzies that seem to have a life force of their own.

Yes, Virginia, there is a solution: Have a smoke.


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