Fanfare for ‘Faith’

Norton's helming debut praised

Have you heard the one about the priest and the rabbi?

Touchstone/Spyglass’ preemed “Keeping the Faith,” the helming bow of actor Edward Norton, Wednesday night at the Ziegfeld.

Post-screening, guests trekked to Studio 450’s votive-lit loft-space, where Michael Eisner and Barry Diller could be seen chatting with Norton and pic’s Ben Stiller and Jenna Elfman, while Miramax capo Harvey Weinstein plied pic’s producers with adjectives such as “great” and “wonderful.”

Also among revelers were Joel Coen and wife Frances McDormand, who drew a box with her fingers and said of the movie, “It’s square. I loved it.”

Despite such copious positive attention, Norton told Daily Variety, “I’m going to go back to my day job.”

Described his decision to direct the script, written by friend Stuart Blumberg, Norton said, “Stu and I agreed, ‘Let’s not give this to anyone else. No one else is going to get our jokes. ”

Absent was cast member Anne Bancroft, who was missed by a tanned Dustin Hoffman. “She’s looked great for 30 years,” he said of the stunning Mrs. Robinson.

Among those present were Buena Vista marketing co-prexies Oren Aviv and Geoff Ammer;Spyglass co-chairs Gary Barber and Roger Birnbaum; guests Bodhi Elfman, Nora Ephron, Salma Hayek, Anne Meara, Jerry Stiller, Kimberly Peirce, Vince Vaughn and Diane von Furstenberg.

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