Star power builds ‘Architecture’

GOOD MORNING: “We are definitely an example of the little movie that could,” says producer Meg Liberman. The “little movie” is the $14 million “Dancing About Architecture” starring (alphabetically) Gillian Anderson, Ellen Burstyn, Sean Connery, Anthony Edwards, Angelina Jolie, Jay Mohr, Ryan Phillippe, Dennis Quaid, Gena Rowlands, Jon Stewart and Madeleine Stowe. Liberman, produces with Willard Carroll (who’s also director-screenwriter) and Tom Wilhite; Paul Feldsher exec produces the Miramax-Intermedia Films-financed Hyperion pic. Miramax is so high on it, they plan the U.S. bow for Dec. 18, same way they bowed “Good Will Hunting” to vie for Oscar nomination recognition. The cast — working under “favored nations” for below-usual salaries (like Sean Connery’s!) — is a tribute to the script and to the schedule manipulation by Liberman, who got the pic completed in 41 days on 27 locations! As a sample of the cast’s camaraderie: when Jon Voight invited daughter Jolie to dinner on her birthday, she declined because of heavy scenes on the following day — so Voight came to the set and did lines with her! To further prove their equality, all the stars had trailers of the same size … Harvey Weinstein gave the script to Connery, who wanted to do the role because Rowlands was already set. With that duo signed — well, you see the results. Connery’s role is one in which he’s not been seen: a heroic man wed 40 years to a wife of his age. He’s tragic and comic, and the pic has a surprise ending in which all they above come together. Writer-director Carroll says, “Actually the screenplay is structured like a mystery, without a dead body.” How refreshing.

MEBBE IT’S BECAUSE THE BOROUGH of Queens is getting heat over its contract dealings in Miramax’s “The Yards,” but Wednesday when I talked to costar James Caan, they were on location in Lafayette High School — in Brooklyn. Caan calls the pic, written and directed by James Gray, “a brave undertaking, a classical (modern) tragedy.” The pic stars Mark Wahlberg, Joaquin Phoenix, Charlize Theron and Oscar winners Ellen Burstyn and Faye Dunaway. Caan, who is hot again, also stars as Phillip Marlowe in Bob Rafelson’s HBO “Poodle Springs,” to air later this month. Caan and Rafelson are planning to reteam in a black comedy, “Trailer Park Casanova.” Caan will also be seen late Fall in Castle Rock’s comedy “Mickey Blue Eyes” with Hugh Grant. Further good news for Caan: he and wife Linda are expecting their second son, to be named Jake, this Fall … Edie and Lew Wasserman celebrate their 62nd wedding anniversary with family at home, Sunday … Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson visited the Burnlington, Wisc., set of “Last Great Ride” to see his pal Ernest Borgnine, co-starring with Eileen Brennan for director Ralph Portillo. Ernie annually plays a clown (in complete makeup) in the Milwaukee Circus Parade. From Wisconsin, Borgnine heads to Idaho for “Mel” for Joey Travolta. At 81 (!) Borgnine’s made “Baseketball,” “Small Soldiers,” and “Abilene” already this year and last year’s “Hoover” will be released this Fall … Anthony Hopkins and Mark Rydell are keynote speakers at this year’s graduating class of the Joanne Baron/D.W. Brown Acting School. Graduation takes place July 13 at the BevHilton. Baron recently produced (and starred in) “Allie & Me,” in which she cast the film with her students James Wilder, Harry Hamlin, Julianne Phillips and student Michael Rymer, who directed the improvisational film.

MARVIN HAMLISCH COMPOSED and conducted his special arrangement of “Here Comes the Bride” etc. as Barbra and Jim were married by a rabbi in the living room of her Malibu home. As guests were seated, Hamlisch led the Monseigneur strings on Andre Previn’s theme of “Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.” Following the ceremony, guests were cocktailed on the patio and then went into the tent for dinner … All those involved with the wedding were required to sign agreements of confidentiality. Invitations to the 80 guests (including John Travolta and Tom Hanks) went out by phone … Jim Brolin’s longtime friend and manager Jeff Wald winged in from N.Y., where he’d recently undergone emergency surgery on a ruptured colon … The Alan Bergmans had rushed from Madrid, where they received another honor: They were among the few who knew well in advance of the wedding date. But those of you who read this column on June 16 knew it was imminent … Dr. Elsie Giorgi, doctor to many of Hollywood’s stars, and medical consultant on “The Doctor” and the “Diagnosis Murder” series, died June 19. A memorial is being planned for September … Billy Davis Jr. was birthday-partied by wife Marilyn McCoo at Amadeus … Sam Elliott, whose “Conagher” is one of TNT’s highest rated vidpics, is in Calgary exec producing-starring in “You Know My Name” for TNT — and is grand marshal of the annual Calgary Stampede July 4 … “ER’s” Emmy-nominated Gloria Reuben makes her TV singing bow on NBC’s telecast of the All-Star Game, July 7. The native of Toronto will sing the Canadian national anthem, “O Canada.”

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