Cruz, Volver co-stars win best actress award

The film didn't win the top honours but bagged the laurels for Cruz and her female co-stars.

india Updated: May 30, 2006 18:55 IST

Penelope Cruz and her female co-stars in Pedro Almodovar's latest movie Volver were collectively awarded the Cannes film festival's best actress prize.

The honour, given out in a glittering ceremony in this French Riviera resort, reflected the flawless performances and on-screen intimacy of Cruz and actresses Carmen Maura, Lola Duenas, Blanca Portillo, Yohana Cobo and Chus Lampreave in the Spanish film.

"It's such an honour to share this award with these amazing women who have been so inspiring," said Cruz as she accepted the award with some of the other actresses next to her.

"I think this award really belongs to Pedro: You are the greatest, the greatest. Thank you so much for what you do for woman everywhere in the world. I have always dreamed of being part of this family of women. Thank you so much, I love you with all my heart."

Cannes critics had unanimously praised the movie, calling it one of the best of the 20 vying for the Palme d'Or top prize.

It recounts the story of three generations of women patching up differences and uncovering family secrets after one of them comes back from the grave.

Cruz, 32, is one of Spain's most popular actresses, appearing in movies such as Jamon, Jamon and two other Almodovar films: Live Flesh and the Oscar-winning All About My Mother.

In recent years, especially during her relationship with US megastar Tom Cruise, which ended in 2004, she also landed leading roles in several Hollywood productions, notably Vanilla Sky (a Cruise-produced remake of a Spanish sci-fi movie called Abre Los Ojos), Gothika and Sahara.

In Volver she put in a radiant, Sophia Loren-like turn as a working class woman coming to grips with the murder of her husband, the return of her dead mother and the turmoil in her daughter's life.

Carmen Maura, 60, who plays the mother, is another Almodovar favourite. She appeared in his first major film, Pepi, Luci, Bom and the Other Girls, as well as his Dark Habits, What Have I Done to Deserve This?, Matador and Law ofDesire.

Duenas incarnates the sister of Cruz's character. She previously featured in Almodovar's Talk To Her and the Oscar-winning movie The Sea Inside directed by Alejandro Amenabar (who also made Abre Los Ojos).

Portillo who has a long list of Spanish movies behind her, plays Agustina, a friend of Cruz's character who has to face her own ordeal. She has a role in the big-budget Spanish swashbuckling movie Altatriste starring Viggo Mortensen that is due out late this year.

Cobo who plays Cruz's daughter, steps up from a career that started in Spanish television to portray a teenager pushed to extreme lengths in Volver.

Lampreave has had a long television and film career in Spain. She, too, appeared in Almodovar's Talk To Her and in The Flower of My Secret.

First Published: May 30, 2006 18:55 IST