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Entertainment Today: Showbiz News

By KAREN BUTLER, United Press International   |   Nov. 22, 2002 at 3:00 AM
NEW 007 FILM HAS BEST UK BOND OPENING EVER

"Die Another Day," the 20th installment in the James Bond spy franchise, has posted the highest ever debut for a 007 film in the United Kingdom.

The British news site Ananova.com says "Day" earned an impressive $1.75 million at the U.K. box office when it opened Wednesday on 430 screens.

The film, which stars Pierce Brosnan as the dashing secret agent and Oscar-winning actress Halle Berry as Bond Girl Jinx, opens in the United States Friday.


SPEAKING OF BOND...

Rosamund Pike insists there is no shame in a British stage actress taking a role in a commercially successful movie like "Die Another Day."

"I take my cue from Judi Dench," Pike recently told reporters in Los Angeles. "Someone said to her, 'After all this, why a Bond movie?' She said, 'Look, it's the funniest thing I've ever been part of and I won't hear a word against it.' And I think, 'Right on.'"

"Day" is the fourth Bond movie in which Dench plays head of British Intelligence, "M." It marks Pike's feature film debut.


MOORE FILMS CREATING OSCAR BUZZ

Hollywood actresses often complain there is a lack of good material into which to sink their teeth.

But "End of the Affair" and "Hannibal" star Julianne Moore has not one, but two upcoming films that already are creating Oscar buzz -- "Far From Heaven" and "The Hours."

"In both of these movies... the characters are not superheroes," Moore explained to reporters in New York recently. "They're not flying a spaceship to the moon or to Mars, they're not fighting with lasers, they aren't doing anything that any of us don't do.

"They're dealing with their marriages and their lives and their communities and their children and questions about how they feel and if they're happy or if they're depressed or whom they love," she said. "The thing that's so intriguing and wonderful about these films is that they're about the choices that we make in our lives, the stuff in our lives, the things that we do, the things that move us, and I find that there is more drama and

more emotion in the ordinary than there is the imagined and the kind of fantasy that film chooses sometimes."

So, is Moore worried about how the studios are marketing these dramas?

"Marketing shmarketing," Moore replied. "That's a question for someone other than me because I don't know what they're doing with that kind of stuff. I just kind of show up and talk about what my experience has been, but I think that the film has been getting a lot of attention and once again, I don't think that we have a lot of movies these days that are about our lives, that are about what people are feeling and thinking and how they love each other, and stuff."


HEARST TO FILMMAKERS: CHANGE NAME!

After being notified of potential legal action from Hearst Publications lawyers, Modernica Pictures and Menemsha Films say they officially have changed the title of their upcoming release "Good Housekeeping!" to "Better Housekeeping!"

Citing the similarities of the title of the film to their monthly magazine, "Good Housekeeping," lawyers from the media giant insisted the title be changed to avoid further confrontation. "Better Housekeeping!" opened Wednesday at New York's Two Boots Pioneer Theatre.

Director Frank Novak said in a statement: "It's funny that Hearst thinks that people will confuse a down and dirty movie with a wholesome magazine, but they don't seem to be laughing about it."

Added executive producer Jay Novak: "We're flattered by the compliment from Hearst that our little indie film would grab enough people's attention to even have a chance at confusing those who subscribe to the magazine."

Shot in a voyeuristic, "reality" style, the film is a humanizing portrait of working-class domestic life gone awry. Described by Roger Ebert as "very funny as you peek at it through the fingers in front of your eyes," the movie made a splash at the 2000 Cannes Film Festival as an official selection of the 39th International Critics' Week and was also an official selection at the London Film Festival.


NEW SHOW FOR SILVERSTONE

"Clueless" actress Alicia Silverstone is getting her own TV show on NBC.

The word from TV Guide Online is Silverstone will play a lovelorn New York matrimonial attorney who moonlights as a high-end matchmaker in a new hour-long comedic drama series.

The show is being executive produced by "Sex and the City" creator Darren Star.

Silverstone first gained attention in the early 1990s when she appeared in a series of provocative Aerosmith music videos. She sparkled as a modern-day matchmaker, based on Jane Austen's literary character, Emma, in the 1995 comedy "Clueless" and recently completed a nine-month stint in the Broadway production of "The Graduate."

© 2002 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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