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Penélope Cruz gets Venice Film Festival Best Actress award and dedicates it to Pilar Bardem
13 September 2021 @ 07:50

HOLLYWOOD legend and veteran Almodóvar actress Penélope Cruz had a busy time at this year's Venice Film Festival, with two of her most recent silver-screen productions being showcased and taking home one of the top awards.

Penélope Cruz, first Spanish woman to receive the Copa Volpi for Best Actress at Venice Festival (photo: Venice Biennale on Twtter - @la_Biennale)

The Madrid-born national treasure, 47, has not been seen for some years in English-language films – 20 years after her Tinseltown début with a string of successes including Captain Corelli's Mandolin, Cormac McCarthy's All the Pretty Horses, a drug-baron's Colombian wife in Blow, and in the US remake of Alejandro Amenábar's Abre los Ojos ('Open Your Eyes'), Vanilla Sky alongside Tom Cruise, playing the same rôle as in the original.

But she has rarely been absent from Spanish cinema, continuing to appear in most of prolific cult director Pedro Almodóvar's works – which is where she started her career – and in other national and European productions.

One of these was Gaston Duprat's and Mariano Cohn's Competencia Oficial ('The Official Competition'), along with fellow Almodóvar 'apprentice'-turned-Hollywood great, Antonio Banderas, and which was shown at the 78th Venice Film Festival to great acclaim.

Penélope was also represented in her part in the latest Almodóvar film, Madres Paralelas ('Parallel Mothers'), the curtain act for the opening ceremony, which attracted huge applause from viewers.

Speculation among festival-goers was rife that the most recent offering by the ever-present director from Castilla-La Mancha would feature somewhere among the awards.

Tipped to net Best Film or Best Direction, Madres Paralelas missed out on both, but Penélope took home Best Actress for her own rôle, gaining the Copa Volpi, or Volpi Cup to a resounding ovation from the public.

She is the first Spanish female ever to receive this prestigious award in the history of the Venice Festival.

Once on stage, in the company of this year's jury leader Bong Joon-ho, Penélope dedicated her prize to her husband, 'Bond villain' Javier Bardem, and their two children, and also to her 'two parallel mothers' in real life.



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