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Penelope Cruz AFI FEST Tribute

Volver (2006) by Pedro Almodovar, with Penélope Cruz, Carmen Maura, Lola Dueñas, Blanca Portillo and Yohana Cobo

Likely Academy Award and European Film Award nominee Penélope Cruz – for Pedro Almodóvar's Volver – will receive this year's AFI FEST Tribute at 7 p.m. tomorrow, Nov. 2, at the ArcLight Hollywood's Cinerama Dome.

Cruz happens to be a mere 32 years old, and has been in films for only 14 years, but her performance in Volver has elicited comparisons to Sophia Loren, Anna Magnani, and assorted Earth Mothers, and has received loads of publicity around the globe. Additionally, Cruz is awful pretty and a few years back dated Tom Cruise. All good reasons for a Career Tribute. (If only fellow Volver player Carmen Maura, one of the greatest film actresses ever, had dated Cruise…)

The ceremony, which will include an interview with Cruz , film clips, and assorted guests, will be followed by a screening of Volver, Spain's official entry for this year's Academy Awards and the winner of the Best Screenplay and Best Actress awards at the Cannes Film Festival.

Volver, as far as I'm concerned the film event of the year, opens in select theaters in Los Angeles and New York on Friday.

Pedro Almodovar and Penélope Cruz at the 2004 AFI FEST in Los AngelesFrom the AFI FEST press release:

AFI FEST 2006 presented by Audi: AFI Los Angeles International Film Festival has selected Penélope Cruz as the recipient of the Festival's annual Tribute. The Tribute to Penélope Cruz will take place at ArcLight Hollywood's Cinerama Dome on Thursday, November 2, 2006. Pedro Almodóvar's highly acclaimed film Volver in which Cruz stars, will also premiere that evening immediately following the Tribute as part of the Festival's Centerpiece Gala series. Volver, which was recently announced as Spain's official selection to the 79th Oscar Best Foreign Film category, is a Sony Pictures Classic release starring Cruz, Carmen Maura, Lola Dueñas, Blanca Portillo and Yohana Cobo.

“Penélope Cruz is an actress whose dynamic spirit truly shines through every character she creates. Our challenge in choosing an artist each year is to find someone with a compelling body of work about whom we crave to know more. There is no doubt that Penélope fits this criteria," said AFI's Director of Programming Nancy Collet. “Both Penélope and Pedro Almodóvar have been good friends of the Festival for many years. We are delighted to welcome them back and host this very special evening for them. “

The Tribute will be a celebration of Penélope Cruz's career and will include a lively on-stage conversation, film clips, a few surprises and visits from special friends. The Tribute is made possible through a collaborative partnership with the Skirball Cultural Center.

Set in Spain, Volver is a dramatic comedy that explores the generational story of three women: a good mother (Maura) who is desperately in love with a man who is far from being a saint, a young mother (Cruz) carrying a hard life upon her shoulders and an illegal hairdresser (Dueñas) whose shop is the meeting point for all the neighborhood gossips.

“From ALL ABOUT MY MOTHER to TALK TO HER to BAD EDUCATION, AFI FEST has been a good luck charm for Pedro Almodóvar and his movies. The showing of his new film this year should be another unforgettable evening. VOLVER is the work of a world master at the peak of his form featuring the performance of a lifetime by Penélope Cruz,” said Michael Barker & Tom Bernard, co-presidents of Sony Pictures Classics.

The AFI FEST Tribute has become a signature event at the Festival, consisting of a single, special, live on-stage tribute to a leading figure in the international motion picture community. Previous AFI FEST Tribute recipients have included Pedro Almodóvar, Michael Caine, Johnny Depp, Anjelica Huston, Jessica Lange, Ang Lee and Louis Malle.

Penélope Cruz has proven herself to be one of the most versatile, young actresses by playing a variety of compelling characters. First introduced to American audiences in the Spanish films JAMON, JAMON and BELLE EPOQUE, in 1998 she starred in her first English language film, HI-LO COUNTRY for director Stephen Frears, opposite Woody Harrelson, Patricia Arquette and Billy Crudup. In 1999, Cruz won the Best Actress award at the 13th Annual Goya Awards given by the Spanish Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences for her role in Fernando Trueba's THE GIRL OF YOUR DREAMS.

Confirming her status as Spain's hottest international actress, Cruz won pivitol [sic] roles in films as diverse as ALL THE PRETTY HORSES, WOMAN ON TOP, OPEN YOUR EYES, TWICE UPON A YESTERDAY, BLOW, CAPTAIN CORELLI'S MANDOLIN, VANILLA SKY, MASKED & ANONYMOUS, FAN FAN LA TULIPE, DON'T TEMPT ME, DON'T MOVE, GOTHIKA, HEAD IN THE CLOUDS, NOEL, CHROMOPHOBIA, and SAHARA.

Volver is the third collaboration between Cruz and Almodóvar. The two first worked together in 1997 on LIVE FLESH and again in the critically acclaimed ALL ABOUT MY MOTHER, which was awarded the Golden Globe and Oscar for Best Foreign Film in addition to being a Closing Night Film of AFI FEST.

Penelope Cruz AFI FEST Tribute © 2004–2018 Alt Film Guide and/or author(s).
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2 Comments to Penelope Cruz AFI FEST Tribute

  1. Andre

    David,

    I've also been an Almodovar fan since the mid-1980s. (I was 5 years old then, but very precocious.)

    In any case, you should be happy to hear that “Volver” seems to be doing quite well here in Los Angeles. Lines at a nearby theater showing the film were going around the (lengthy) block — that has rarely happened before.

    Also, “Volver” will quite likely get a Best Film Oscar nod. And it will win the Best Foreign Language Film award, pretty much without a doubt.

    And yes, the AFI has a great selection of films this year. I'll be posting more on the screenings in the next several days.

  2. David K

    I'm glad to see Mr Almodovar getting more exposure, I'v been a long time fan of his movies, can't wait to see “Volver”, I wish I could be in Hollywood to attend this years' AFI.