Penélope Cruz: overwhelming

“The true princess of Spain is Penélope,” Pedro Almodóvar said in 2001, “much more so than the king’s daughter.”  Penélope Cruz is his muse. Why it took me so long to finally see Volver I can’t really tell. But the fact is that only last week I saw it and although I had enjoyed Penélope in Almodóvar’s other films (including Broken Embraces), I thought that she has never been better than in Volver. Such depth and easiness in playing, such a pleasure to see her on screen. It took one great director to discover her real talent and introduce us to a great actress at her highest performing capacity. “Pedro would push me to the limit. He really knows how to press all my buttons. You can only go into something like that when it’s somebody you really trust.”

And it took another great director to win her a well deserved Oscar. Penélope is the first Spanish actress to win an Academy Award: her role in Woody Allen’s Vicky Cristina Barcelona is so intense, that it left me a lasting impression of her passion, power of attraction and vulcanic temperament.

“She had a kind of strength that was earthy and eternal-surprising in someone so young.” recalls Almodóvar

Woody Allen: “I don’t want to look at Penelope directly. It is too overwhelming.”

A few scoops of style, fashion and design: legendary vintage fashion in an aviation story: Up in the Air / the beauty and power of a Valentino red dress / so much to find out and admire about the 10 women who changed fashion: A Matter of Style / Carine Roitfeld about fashion today: “You used to be able to be more playful, but now it’s all about money, results and big business.”/ Interior design: Amanda Nisbet / how fun and chic is this Rococo printed skirt? / photography: John Bessler / I love all the fine prints in this home-studio /an urban atmosphere in a French country house

I hope your week is off to a great start!

photos: 1,2-Vanity Fair US November 2009, by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott / 3,4-Vanity Fair Spain April 2009 / 5-Vogue US december 2007, by Annie Leibovitz / 6-Emilio Pereda, link / 7-Vanity Fair US March 2009 Hollywood Issue, by Annie Leibovitz; quotes:

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