Penélope Cruz was named Best Actress at the Venice Film Festival for her role in the Spanish director, Pedro Almodóvar’s, Madres paralelas. She was awarded the Coppa Volpi during the 78th edition of the oldest film festival in the world.
It is the first time that a Spanish actress has won this prestigious award. The Coppa Volpi for best actor went to John Arcilla for his role in ‘On the Job: The missing 8’. Audrey Diwan’s French film L’événement won the Golden Lion (Best Picture). The Silver Lion was won by Jane Campion’s ‘The power of the dog’.
Madres Paralelas is about two women who give birth at the same time in a hospital. Although the women appear to be very different, they also seem to have a lot in common. Cruz said she experienced this role as one of the most difficult of her entire career. For the film she takes on the role of Janis, an injured but indestructible woman who, after the birth of her child, fights for the exhumation of her deceased grandfather from a mass grave. The role of the other woman, Ana, is played by Milena Smit.
Cruz also starred in the Spanish-Argentine film Compentencia oficial by Mariano Cohn and Gastón Duprat. This film was the favorite for the Golden Lion, but did not win the award in the end.
“What an honour to celebrate cinema together here. Thank you Pedro, this honour belongs 100% to you. Your outstanding work and dedication are unique in this day and age. I admire you,” Cruz said in her speech. She also dedicated the Coppa Volpi to her family (husband Javier Bardem and their children) and to the rest of the cast of ‘Madres paralelas’. Finally, the actress thanked her own mother (“the best teacher and friend”) and her recently deceased mother-in-law and actress Pilar Bardem. The last words she said to her daughter-in-law were “I love you” and “Coppa Volpi”.
Cruz favourite for other prestigious film awards
With the winning of the Coppa Volta, expectations are high for upcoming major film awards such as the American Oscars and Spanish Goya awards. The American entertainment magazine Variety already placed Cruz among the favorites for winning an Oscar.
At the Venice Film Festival last weekend, the Grand Jury Prize went to Paolo Sorrentino’s ‘È stata la mano di Dio’; the Special Jury Prize went to Michelangelo Frammartino’s ‘Il Buco’; the Premio Osella (for best screenplay) went to Maggie Gyllenhaal for the film ‘The last daughter’ and the Premio Marcello Mastroianni (for best emerging actor) was won by Filipo Scotti for his role in ‘È stata la mano di Dio’.