Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Penélope Erotique

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.
*

17 comments:

Mariposa said...

I absolutely started lmao when I read "he can keep her" because it's oh so true. He's trying to sell Katie (or "Kate" as he calls her) as the next big movie star when all she can do is look slightly retarded and brainwashed.

Hayden said...

But, who knows. Most of us didn't see the Penelope explosion coming, so maybe we'll be kicking ourselves in a few years (after the divorce) for not predicting Katie Holmes as the next big thing.

Nah.

John T said...

What about all of the underappreciated actors out there Nathaniel? I think Tom would be more than willing to help them out too...

And I don't think Katie's the next big thing-both Penelope and Nicole had shown some talent prior to the breakups, albeit nothing on par with the post breakup.

Luigi De Angelis S. said...

Penelope Cruz isn’t one of my favorite actresses but I appreciate her work in several European films, especially in Almodovar’s “Volver”.

Your observation about Tom Cruise’s ability to produce outstanding actresses is funny, remarkable and correct… I thought the same when I watched seven years ago “Moulin Rouge!” (I said to me “good job Tom!”) but I’m not sure that the magic is in the sperm (although the idea is subversively appealing), I think that maybe Tom is so demanding, controlling and suffocating in the relationships he has had with these beautiful women that eventually they get in contact with their wild side and become powerful and self confident women… and we see that improvement on-screen (just a humble and personal opinion).

Penelope’s pic is fabulous, she’s so sexy… I want to kiss her - and I'm talking in an absolutely dirty and strong sexual context - right now... (sorry, but the picture is just incredibly hot).

NATHANIEL R said...

John T... you make a good point but TOM CRUISE is 100% heterosexual. a full 0 on the Kinsey Scale. Maybe even a triple 000 ... they had to adjust the scale he loves vagina so much.

[editor's note: the film experience is NOT responsible for opinions found within the comments section. Please Tom Cruise's people, please don't sue!]

ryansumera said...

i saw greatness early. that opening scene in "live flesh" where she goes into labor is most authentic child bearing scene i have seen any actress do.

ryansumera said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6A56EX_cfVg

don't you all love her more now?

Transvestitia Transvestitenstein said...

ok, i'm not a big katie holmes fan either, but she was great in pieces of april (although kinda outshined by everyone else), so... who knows???
who knows who knows who knows

Anonymous said...

If I ever turn straight, your blog will be partially to blame, Nathaniel;) The picture that has come (no pun intended) to my mind when reading about Tom's sperm is really... disgusting.

I think he's one of the few actors that if, in one of those extremely unlikely to happen occasions, ever proposed me something dirty, I would say no, no, no in the Amy Winehouse's way. Of course, this doesn't mean that Mr. Cruise would ever propose something dirty to another man.

Penélope isn't one of my favourite actresses, but I'm glad she's having some good parts (Vicky Cristina Barcelona, Elegy and Broken Embraces) to come in the following months. I think -and it's a too personal opinion based on no real evidence- she only shows her real talent if directed by actors-focused directors.

Iggy

dusty said...

So, ... is Penelope good enough in Elegy for a second Oscar nomination? That's the biggest question on my mind, but I suppose I have a vested interest, as I predicted her in my year-in-advance write-up.

Was Gothika before or after her breakup with Tom? That's by far the worst Penelope I've seen so far.

Hayden said...

I have such a strong feeling about her performance in Vicky Cristina Barcelona that I don't even want to think about Elegy for awards love. I'm sure she's great, but she's riding so high right now personally and professionally that, really, who better to bring back the storied tradition of Woody Allen Supporting Actress victories?

I adore the direction her career has taken. It's so much fun to watch her turn into a modern-day Sophia Loren. I can't wait to see her when she's 70.

Kamikaze Camel said...

Agreed with all. I quite liked her in Spanish films (Almodovar, Open Your Eyes) but in English she was dreadful and I just didn't care for the sight of her at award shows and the like because it was just Tom Cruise getting her attention. But now she totally deserves all the attention she gets. Deserved the Oscar for Volver I say and now she's even cranking out great perfs in ENGLISH? She's making a play for my heart I tellsya. She'll conquer it.

matt said...

Wait a minute.

Mimi Rogers. Where's her big, post-Cruise career?

alex Cypher said...

And next year she's in the new Almodovar movie (yeah!!) and Nine alongside Day-Lewis and... Kidman. This musical is sure to be interesting.

NATHANIEL R said...

matt --in regards to MIMI ROGERS they divorced in 1990 and in 1991 she gave a completely awesome performance in The Rapture, her personal best.

it's not her fault that loving that performance somehow didn't catch on with cinephiles, casting directors, or public ;) Because it sure was an Oscar worthy turn.

damn she's great in that movie. can i get an amen from people who've seen THE RAPTURE?

adam k. said...

*crickets*

Andy said...

Thanks Nat for recommending The Rapture. I just watched it from Netflix. You are right, Mimi Rogers is AWESOME in it. And the movie is so challenging. Definitely worth a rental.

Is Mimi your best actress nominee from 1991, Nat?