MOVIES ''I've read a lot of independent-film scripts, but this is the only one I'm passionate about,'' says Elisha Cuthbert, best known as Kiefer Sutherland's kid on 24 and the girl next door in The Girl Next Door. She's talking about Dot, the indie she'll coproduce and star in as Nina, a teen with troubles who opens up when a deaf orphan named Dot comes to live at her house. ''Because Dot can't hear her or tell anyone, it's kind of like she's talking to a plant or animal,'' explains Cuthbert, who describes the film as part drama, part thriller. ''I'd call it a mix between the two -- and a really fascinating, dark, in-depth view of what it's like to be a girl in her teens who's dealing with major issues.'' Not major issues like getting kidnapped, getting her foot stuck in a bear trap, or shooting a guy, as Cuthbert's grappled with on 24, but real issues. ''It's a chance for me to go out and do something different,'' she says. And The Sopranos' Edie Falco -- who should do more movies, she's fun to watch -- is gonna play her mom.... Missed Angie Harmon's speaking gig at the Republican National Convention -- a pox on the networks and their stingy prime-time convention coverage! But most assuredly will not miss her in Fun With Dick and Jane, the upcoming Columbia remake of the 1977 bank-robbery caper comedy that featured George Segal and Jane Fonda. Harmon will play Veronica (she kinda looks like the Veronica of Archie comics fame, no?) alongside Jim Carrey and Téa Leoni.... Has the Best Actor buzz from earlier this summer died down for Jeff Bridges and his Door in the Floor performance? Let's keep it alive -- he was a thespic lion in that movie. And let's start the chatter for his newly announced role in Tideland, the movie adaptation of a 2000 novel by cult author Mitch Cullin. According to the book's jacket, it's about a little girl in rural Texas who escapes into a fantasy life where ''fireflies have names, bog men awaken at dusk, monster sharks swim down railroad tracks, and disembodied Barbie heads share in her adventures.'' Sounds like a Terry Gilliam movie -- and sure as shootin', as they say in rural Texas, Gilliam is directing. (The Fisher King reunion!) Jennifer Tilly costars.