SUZY

Byline: Aileen Mehle

Look out for Barbara Bush at the Inauguration. On second thought, she’ll be hard to miss because Arnold Scaasi, always her favorite designer, has made seven (7) new outfits for her. And, in this case, seven’s a lucky number for both Barbara and Scaasi.

The latest story to roll off the Madonna rumor mill, which is churning endlessly in Hail Britannia, is that not only will her new husband, Guy Ritchie, direct her next music video, but that Maddie is going to star in a film based on the life of Dusty Springfield, the ill-fated English singing star of the Sixties and Seventies who suffered from alcoholism and died of cancer in the Nineties. Hardly a laugh riot. But expect all this to be pooh-poohed just like M’s pregnancy, her engagement and her latest marriage originally were. At the moment, Madonna’s in Los Angeles to help launch her husband’s new movie, “Snatch,” starring Brad Pitt. Tit for tat and all that.

Melina Kanakaredes has been enjoying her “15 minutes of fame” for a few years now as the star of the TV drama “Providence,” so it’s nice to know that she’s playing a TV field reporter with anchoring ambitions in the upcoming suspense thriller, “Fifteen Minutes,” from New Line. Doing the plum part meant a lot of frequent flyer miles and not much sleep for Melina, but it was worth it. She stars opposite Ed Burns and plays Robert DeNiro’s “love interest” — as they coyly refer to it in flicks.
Kanakaredes says it was crazy doing two jobs at one time. She was sleeping on planes and literally going from set to set, coast to coast. “One night I finished at 5 a.m., took the 7 a.m. flight from New York to L.A. and went straight to the ‘Providence’ set for another 17-hour day!” But she just loved working with Bob (that’s what she called DeNiro) because “he’s warm, funny and very generous.” You can check out hard working but grateful Melina and warm, funny and very generous Bob when the movie opens in March.

Antonio Banderas and Angelina Jolie, she of the lips who enter a room before she does, star in “Original Sin,” a thriller boiling over with passion and suspense. Banderas plays a respected Cuban coffee plantation owner whose fortune and life are put at risk by his mysterious mail-order bride, the jolie Angelina. “In Spain,” says Banderas, “we have a saying, ‘the man who doesn’t want anything is invincible,’ but my character makes the mistake of instantly falling in love, which makes him vulnerable. He becomes a man capable of losing his friends, his fortune, his heart and his life, all for love of a woman about whom he’s passionate and obsessed. To marry without knowing your girlfriend is risky…Believe me…Don’t do it!” Well, OK, Antonio. But marrying your boyfriend without knowing him is risky business too. He could have a miffed mistress with a machete hiding in the middle of those coffee beans, you know. Of course that’s another movie.

Will “Dancer in the Dark” star Bjork be able to pull off a coup even Barbra Streisand couldn’t? The musical sensation, who has already received awards for her acting debut in “D in the D” and been nominated for two Golden Globes, Best Actress and Best Song — she’ll fly in from Iceland where she’s finishing her new album to be at Sunday’s ceremony — could duplicate that first-time feat with Oscar. No one’s ever been doubly nominated in the same year in those two categories. (Babs was Oscar-nominated as Best Actress for “Funny Girl” in 1969 and for Best Song, “Evergreen” from “A Star is Born” in 1977. Obviously, not in the same year, the poor thing.)

In Palm Beach, interior designer Geoffrey Bradfield turned Club Colette upside down when he turned it into a trendy downtown boite to celebrate the opening of ArtPalm Beach, the modern and contemporary art fair that opened last week with a gala benefit preview for the Palm Beach Opera. To show just how contemporary he can be, Geoffrey used Keith Haring acrobats and barking dogs as centerpieces, oh my! The long festive tables were covered with canvas and hand-painted with boldly colored graffiti. As if that already wasn’t quite enough, listen to what they had for dessert — Polaroid copies of paintings from the art fair framed in rich dark chocolate with chocolate paint brushes on the side. Of course, they were all gobbled up. No one could resist, save for a couple of Skinny Minnies who shall remain nameless. The guest of honor was Lars Nittve, the director of the Tate Modern in London, who was in town to lecture about his wondrous new museum.
On Feb. 1, the Palm Beach International Art & Antique Fair will open with another gala preview for the Norton Museum of Art, chaired by Jean Tailer. Le tout Palm Beach turns out for this fair, strolling down the aisles, searching for that special something that no one else has. The tiara and drop earrings made of diamonds, pearls, rubies and sapphires that Catherine Zeta-Jones borrowed from Fred Leighton for her wedding to Michael Douglas? A Kandinsky? A Gauguin? A Pissarro? That 18th-century harp from Mallet crying out for a corner of the drawing room? It’s all yours for the choosing, friends. That and lolly, which is as common as kitty litter in Palm Beach.

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