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THE BIG PICTURE

Many unhappy returns in 2003

December 23, 2003|PATRICK GOLDSTEIN

* I found myself listening to a lot of Liza Minnelli records: Responding to charges in the New York Post that he missed a day of shooting the 20th Century Fox film "X2" after being incapacitated by some sort of medication, director Bryan Singer told Entertainment Weekly: "I did not take a drug that made me woozy and incapable of working."

We're guessing it wasn't one of Dennis Quaid's old fishing hats: After seeing a scene from "In the Cut" in which Meg Ryan discovers her half-sister's head in a bag at the sister's apartment, one scribe at a Toronto Film Festival news conference asked the actress, "Meg, when you held the bag with the severed head, what was actually in the bag?"

You mean, does Sept. 11 compare to something really important, like my opening weekend box office?: When asked by Rolling Stone if the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks had an effect on him, Quentin Tarantino responded: "9/11 didn't affect me, because there's, like, a Hong Kong movie [where] they work in a whole big thing where they blow up a giant skyscraper.... And the shot almost is a semi-duplicate shot of 9/11. I actually enjoyed inviting people over to watch the movie and not telling them about it."

Maybe this is why we don't look as good as Faye Dunaway: When a waiter offered her a choice of cuisine at Clive Davis' Grammy bash, Dunaway removed a digital food scale from her purse and weighed each portion, saying she was on a diet that allowed only 4 ounces of protein a day. The man sitting next to her said she perused his plate, saying, "I'll trade you my broccoli for a tomato."

Or maybe you should check the guest room at Vincent Gallo's house: When Sean Connery was asked at the premiere of "The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen" if he knew the whereabouts of the film's director, Stephen Norrington, with whom he'd been feuding, the legendary actor responded, "Have you checked the local asylum?"

Personally, we got a little tingle just thinking about the poster: Shopping a feature film called "Ashes" that involves a woman's "comic but meaningful" quest for joy and spiritual fulfillment, Goldie Hawn explained to Variety: "It's like an orgasm. You never know when it's going to come, but it's always exciting."

The Big Picture runs every Tuesday in Calendar. If you have questions, ideas or criticism, e-mail them to patrick.goldstein@latimes.com.

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