Penelope Cruz offers a "dream year" in movies

Wed Nov 18, 2009 4:13pm EST
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By Jill Serjeant

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Penelope Cruz feels uncomfortable talking about nude scenes and says she has "an allergy to labels," but she becomes effusive when discussing her "dream year" with two special films about to hit theaters.

The first is Spanish director Pedro Almodovar's "Broken Embraces," her fourth collaboration with the filmmaker who helped make her a star, and the second is musical "Nine" from director Rob Marshall, which challenged her voice and her previously little-known dancing skills.

Both films hope to win over Oscar voters during Hollywood's awards season, and after her own Academy Award-winning turn in Woody Allen comedy "Vicky Cristina Barcelona" last year, Cruz is again earning some early Oscar buzz -- doubled.

"I feel like I have learned a lot. The movies could not be more different," the Spanish beauty told reporters recently.

"To be able to sing for the first time professionally and dance (in 'Nine'), it was a scary experience. 'Broken Embraces' is like three women in one. I feel like the luckiest girl in the world."

"Broken Embraces" opens on Friday after turns at the Cannes and Toronto film festivals where it earned good marks from critics. Review website gives it an 82 percent positive rating.

Cruz calls both movies homages to cinema -- "Nine" to the work of the Italian director Federico Fellini, and "Broken Embraces" to the tradition of film noir.

After playing a prostitute, a nun who falls in love with a transvestite, and a woman whose husband is buried in the fridge in previous Almodovar movies, Cruz tackles the part of a poor assistant to a powerful tycoon in "Broken Embraces."   Continued...

<p>Spanish actress Penelope Cruz arrives for the New York premiere screening of her movie "Broken Embraces" October 11, 2009. REUTERS/Natalie Behring</p>