Today's Hump Day Hottie: Penélope Cruz
The mythological Penelope, wife to Odysseus, was reportedly faithful to her man in body. Maybe not in spirit, though. She yearned to "display herself to her suitors, fan their hearts, inflame them more" The increasingingly mythologized Penélope Cruz will be doing all those things to moviegoers and recent Volver converts once Elegy hits screens in August. The movie, directed by Isabel Coixet (My Life Without Me) is based on Philip Roth's novel The Dying Animal and it's a goodie.
I'm not sure how much more luscious one woman can become but Penélope seems ready and willing to continue ripening. She's ravishing in the movie as Ben Kingsley's MFA student turned lover. More importantly her performance is very strong. She holds her own against Patricia Clarkson and Sir Ben Kingsley. And she does that in English! Will wonders never cease? Seriously now, what have Javier Bardem and Pedro Almódovar been doing to her these past couple of years? Whatever it is, I love it and I thank them... and I thank Penélope herself. In the end it's the woman herself who must unlock her inner movie-star goddess. Maybe European readers are laughing at how long it took us to recognize her worth but in our defense, she used to be pretty bad in English language movies.
I've remarked upon it before and I realize it's mean-spirited to point out but I can't help it: dumping Tom Cruise is the greatest all natural talent booster an actress can experience. We all know what happened to Nicole Kidman directly after the breakup and Penélope too these past few years. Tom Cruise may be free of those pesky body thetans that cluster in all us non-Scientologists but I'm guessing his sperm is clustered with stuff we don't have... a unique talent-unlocking enzyme. I'm not trying to wish a rocky marriage upon Katie Holmes (he can keep her) but I absolutely demand that every ungreat or underappreciated Hollywood actress sleeps with him this year and dumps him the following morning. Tom is tireless and focused so he could handle it. Think of the benefits for the world. Imagine the explosion of actressy triumphs we could see in movie theaters by 2010 and for many years thereafter.
It's the least Tom Cruise could do for the cinema.