Did you say that you have seen everything of Penelope Cruz? From ‘Jamon, Jamon to ‘La red wasp’, this guide will help you review the career of our most international actress. We also tell you where to watch their movies: Netflix, Amazon, HBO, Movistar, Disney +, FuboTV, Rakuten TV, Flixole …
After launching her career with the Mecano video clip ‘La Fuerza del Destino’ and in the children’s program ‘Los Mundos de Yupi’ giving life to Sleeping Beauty, our most international actress, Penélope Cruz (Alcobendas, Madrid, 1974), arrived at the big screen with Bigas Luna’s film ‘Jamon, Jamon (1992), the beginning of a brilliant career.
Cruz can boast of being the only Spanish actress with an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress. She has been nominated for the golden statuette on two other occasions and has also been nominated for the Golden Globes and an Emmy four times, in addition to achieving a BAFTA for her role in ‘Vicky Cristina Barcelona’.
This guide aims to help you review all his filmography, a long career with the most interesting titles in Spain and in Hollywood. We tell you all his movies (and series) and where to see them.
‘Ham, ham’ (1992)
She was barely 18 years old when Penelope Cruz starred in her first film, ‘Jamon, jamon’, directed by Bigas Luna and sharing the bill with who years later would be her partner, Javier Bardem. The owner of a roadside bar hires a pimp who has been an underwear model and wants to be a bullfighter so that she can win over her daughter Silvia, who is in love with a posh boy who doesn’t suit her.
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‘Belle Epoque (1992)’
Penelope Cruz soon began to walk the red carpet at the Oscars with ‘Belle Epoque’, a film by Fernando Trueba that won the golden statuette for Best Foreign Film. In the years before the Second Republic, a soldier (Jorge Sanz) left the army and in his flight arrived at the house of Manolo (Fernando Fernan-Gomez), a freethinker with four daughters, Rocío (Maribel Verdu), Violeta (Ariadna Gil), Clara (Miriam Díaz-Aroca) and Luz (Penélope Cruz), whom he successively tries to seduce.
‘The Greek Labyrinth’ (1993)
Penélope Cruz landed a small role in this film that adapted a novel by Manuel Vazquez-Montalbán and starred Aitana Sánchez-Gijon and Omero Antonutti. It is a film inspired by the Pepe Carvalho saga, but here they changed the name to Juan Bardón who, at a time of serious domestic problems, is hired by a French woman and a man who need him to find an ex-lover of her and that he is missing from Barcelona.
‘The rebel’ (1993)
Italian film directed by Aurelio Grimaldi in which Penelope Cruz gave life to Enza, a 16-year-old girl who is arrested along with her sister for robbing a supermarket and who is sent to a reformatory run by nuns. Cruz received her first international award for this film, the Casa Rossa for Best Actress at the Bellaria Film Festival, one of the first Italian festivals dedicated to independent cinema.
‘For love, just for love’ (1993)
Penelope Cruz continued in Italian cinema with this unsuccessful film by Giovanni Veronesi that adapted the homonymous novel by Pasquale Festa Campanile. Penelope Cruz played the Virgin Mary in this film that fairly loosely recounted the Nativity of the Virgin from Joseph’s point of view.
‘Alegre ma non troppo’ (1994)
The first time that Penelope Cruz starred in a Spanish film was in this comedy by Fernando Colomo that takes place in the world of musical orchestras. Cruz shares the poster with Pere Ponce, who plays Pablo, a young homosexual whose life collapses after the divorce of his parents. He will take refuge in a friend, Salomé (Cruz), who is also dedicated to music.
‘Everything is a lie’ (1994)
Penélope Cruz shared the limelight with the singer Coque Malla, then very focused on his acting career, and with another star of our 90s cinema, Jordi Mollà. Cruz received the Fotogramas de Plata for Best Actress for this debut feature by Álvaro Fernández Armero in which he narrates the relationships of four young people of the time.
‘Between Reds’ (1995)
Azucena Rodríguez directed ‘Entre Rojas in 1995, a women’s drama set in 1974, when a girl named Lucía (Cruz) was admitted to the Madrid female prison of Yeserías, because of her relationship with an activist who fights against the dictatorship. In prison, he will meet all kinds of women, with whom he will have to share time and space and above all the same desire for freedom. A
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Penelope Cruz repeated with Alvaro Fernandez Armero and shared a tape with Ana Álvarez and Beatriz Carvajal, giving life to three completely different women. Virginia has argued with her husband and leaves their home with a considerable amount of money on her. Sol, a cosmetics saleswoman, takes all the money from him and runs away. In his flight, he runs into Patricia who, in turn, also steals her. Their adventures will strengthen their friendship.
‘La Celestina’ (1996)
Cruz’s first immersion in the adaptation of a classic of our literature, ‘La Celestina’ (by Fernando de Rojas), directed by Gerardo Vera. In it he gave life to the protagonist, Melibea, whom, due to the entanglements of Celestina (Terele Pávez), ends up suffering for her love affairs with Calisto (Juan Diego Botto).
‘Love seriously harms health’ (1996)
After playing a small role in ‘More than love, frenzy’, Penelope repeated a romantic comedy in this film by Manuel Gómez Pereira in which she played a young Diana (a role played in adulthood by Ana Belén) who, in the concert of the Beatles in Madrid, in 1965, she meets Santi (Gabino Diego), a boy with whom she will maintain a relationship with ups and downs over several decades.
‘A corner of paradise’ (1997)
Penelope Cruz’s first film in English was this Swedish, Danish and Costa Rican co-production set in the 1950s and inspired by a true story, that of the Swedish botanist Nils von Ekelöw. The scientist reported the dangers of using acid rain in Costa Rica.
‘Trembling Flesh’ (1997)
First collaboration of a historic duo for Spanish cinema: Pedro Almodóvar and Penélope Cruz in a curious ‘thriller’ that is not among the best films by the La Mancha director. Víctor (Liberto Rabal) has just been released from prison and is still in love with Elena (Francesca Neri), but she has married a former policeman –and now a basketball player– who was paralyzed by a shot precisely by Víctor.
‘Open your eyes’ (1997)
After Pedro Almodóvar, came the collaboration with what was then one of the leading Spanish directors, Alejandro Amenábar. New leading role in ‘Abre los ojos’ for Penélope Cruz, which she shared with Eduardo Noriega and who also showed her handling of suspense. The film tells the story of a very handsome man who, after being disfigured by an accident, needs to undergo facial surgery. Cruz would also participate in the Hollywood remake, ‘Vanilla Sky’
‘Don Juan’ (1998)
Penelope’s new foray into European cinema and adaptations of classic works, with this text by Molière in which she gave life to Mathurine, one of the girls who fell for the charms of the veteran Don Juan. In seventeenth-century Spain, don Juan and his valet on horseback roam while falling in love and never quite committed to any of the women he cajoled.
‘The apple of your eyes’ (1998)
In the same year that she had a small role in the minotaria co-production ‘Pasiones rotas’ (1998), Cruz fully consecrated herself in the profession, winning the Goya for best actress for her role as Macarena Granada in ‘La Niña de tus ojos’. Directed by Fernando Trueba. The film focuses on a group of Spaniards who leave Franco’s Spain to shoot a co-production in Hitler’s Germany.
‘Rain in shoes’ (1998)
Our protagonist shared the poster with Lena Headey, whom twenty years later we would see as the perfidious Cersei Lannister from ‘Game of Thrones’ , in this ‘dramedia’ by Maria Ripoll shot in English in which she had a small role. The protagonist is Victor, an actor who is going through a bad time at work and worse personal because he is still in love with his ex, who is going to marry the next day to a man he met in a gym.
‘Hi-Lo Country’ (1998)
Well-directed by Stephen Frears (‘Dangerous Friendships’, ‘The Queen’) and accompanied by stars of the stature of Patricia Arquette, Woody Harrelson, and Billy Crudup: this was the arrival of Penelope Cruz in Hollywood in ‘Hi-Lo Country’, a story set in the years after World War II in which two cowboys fall in love with the same girl.
‘All about my mother’ (1999)
And if her entry into Hollywood had been discreet, the success of Pedro Almodóvar contributed to Penelope Cruz becoming a well-known name in the cinema mecca. In the Oscar-winning film, Cruz gave life to sister Rosa, who is expecting a child from ‘Lola’ and who has also been infected with HIV.
More films with a classic stamp, in this case filming again under Bigas Luna. Inspired by the novel by Antonio Laretta, it begins when the Duchess of Alba offers a party to inaugurate her new palace. Among the attendees are the prime minister, Manuel Godoy, the painter Francisco de Goya and Pepita Tudo (Cruz), Godoy’s lover and the artist’s model.
‘Woman on Top’ (2000)
Cruz gave life in this American production to Isabella Oliveira, a woman expert in gastronomy who runs a restaurant in Brazil with her husband. When he finds out that his partner has been unfaithful, he will go to the United States, where he will triumph with a culinary reality show.
‘All the beautiful horses’ (2000)
Another of Penelope Cruz’s early Hollywood films, where she shared the bill with Matt Damon and Henry Thomas under the direction of Billy Bob Thornton, who adapted a Cormac McCarthy novel. Damon and Thomas play two friends who, fed up with their life in Texas, flee to Mexico to live adventures and end up finding work on a ranch. John will fall in love with the boss’s daughter (Cruz).
Penelope Cruz’s first roles in the film mecca were quite ‘meh’ and this one from ‘Blow’ reaffirmed the trend. Ted Demme directed her in this drug trafficking film that told the story of George Jung (Johnny Depp), who along with Pablo Escobar became the owner of the largest drug cartel in the 70s.
‘Captain Corelli’s mandolin’ (2001)
In her first performances in Hollywood, Penelope was able to share the bill with huge stars. After Johnny Depp came Nicolas Cage and Christian Bale, Cruz’s partners in the romantic drama ‘Captain Corelli’s Mandolin’. When a fisherman goes to fight with the Greek army during World War II, his fiancée falls in love with an Italian commander.
‘No news from God’ (2001)
Back in Spain, Agustín Díaz Yanes directed this curious film in which two angels, one from heaven (Victoria Abril) and the other from hell (Penélope Cruz), come to Earth to save a boxer.
‘Vanilla Sky’ (2001)
Penelope Cruz also participated in the American ‘remake’ of ‘Abre Los Ojos, with Cameron Crowe (‘Almost famous’) at the controls and Tom Cruise as the undisputed star, with whom Cruz began a relationship. According to Crowe, what he did was improve the original, emphasizing music and photography.
A film with a huge choral cast headed by Bob Dylan and in which Jeff Bridges, Jessica Lange, John Goodman, Luke Wilson, Angela Basset also participated … Magnificent soundtrack by Dylan, who plays a musician with a decadent career that encourages you to return for a benefit concert.
‘Fanfan la Tulipe’ (2003)
First French film shot in the Gallic language for Penelope Cruz, which is actually a ‘remake’ of a 1952 film. Fanfan la Tulipe (Vincent Perez) is an intrepid conqueror who enlists in the army after Adeline La Franchise ( Cruz), the daughter of a colonel, read his hand and tell him that by doing so, he might marry the daughter of a king.
Another step in the early days of ‘Pea’s Hollywood career was this commercial thriller by Mathieu Kassovitz. The protagonist is Halle Berry, a psychiatrist who works in an asylum, where Chloe is admitted. The psychiatrist will appear one day as a patient at the same center, without knowing how she got there.
In 2004, Penélope Cruz filmed ‘Don’t move’, with director Sergio Castellito and also this little-remembered Christmas movie directed by actor Chazz Palminteri and whose cast included Paul Walker (the late interpreter of the ‘Fast & Furious’ saga ) and Susan Sarandon herself.
An important step in the American career of Penelope Cruz was this action film with Matthew McConaughey and Steve Zahn and in which, in the purest Indiana Jones style, it has a little humor, a little love and a lot of adventures. Cruz plays a doctor who, while working in African lands, has discovered a deadly disease that is taking over the population.
More humor, more adventures, more western, more topics and more ‘Latin power’ in this film in which Penelope shared the bill with one of Hollywood’s Hispanic American heavyweights, the Mexican Salma Hayek, of whom she is a good friend. Both gave life to some nice thieves who, like Robin Hood, wanted to rob the rich to give the money to the poor.
A new collaboration with Almodóvar managed to show viewers what Penélope Cruz is capable of, after some somewhat regular roles in the United States. For her role as Raimunda she got her first Oscar nomination for Best Actress.
‘The girl of my dreams’ (2007)
Gary (Martin Freeman) is a decadent pop star who writes commercial songs for a living. His love life with his girlfriend is also going badly for him and to get out of the mess he imagines what his perfect relationship would be like, which he imagines with Anna (Cruz). Directed by Jake Paltrow, Gwyneth Paltrow’s brother, who is also featured in the film. Everything stays at home.
Spanish actress and Spanish director (Isabel Coixet) in an American production that adapts the novel ‘El animal moribundo’, by Philip Roth. Ben Kingsley, the protagonist, is a cultural critic who flees commitment like the plague until Consuelo (Cruz), a student of his, appears, for whom he begins to feel something very deep.
‘Vicky Cristina Barcelona’ (2008)
And, from the hands of this film directed by Woody Allen, came the Hollywood consecration for Penélope Cruz, who won the Oscar for best supporting actress for her role as María Elena, the ex-wife of the painter Juan Antonio (Javier Bardem) with whom she maintains a dangerous and troubled relationship.
‘The broken hugs’ (2009)
After giving life to the wife of the bullfighter ‘Manolete’ in Adrien Brody’s glassy film that was never released, a new work by Almodóvar arrived in which Penelope Cruz almost reminded us of Audrey Hepburn. The protagonist is Harry (Lluís Homar), a blind writer who must heal his wounds from 14 years ago, when he was still a film director.
Drama, action, adventure, ‘western’ … what genre was Penelope Cruz missing? Exactly the musical. And she had no problem putting on the corset, singing and dancing. It was in this Rob Marshall fantasy, in which he gives life to one of the women that he brings to mind the film director Guido Contini (Daniel Day-Lewis), specifically his lover.
‘Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides’ (2011)
After making a small cameo in ‘Sex and the City 2’, Penelope Cruz returned to adventures for all audiences in this Disney film, in which she played Angelica, the daughter of a pirate who shares the same goal as Jack Sparrow, look for a fountain of youth.
‘To Rome with love’ (2012)
Penelope Cruz was also present in Woody Allen’s love poem to the Italian capital in which various adventures about tourists, citizens and lovers of Rome are narrated. Cruz plays a shameless prostitute who, due to a misunderstanding, will have to pose as the wife of a man trying to find work.
‘The Passenger Lovers’ (2013)
Cruz’s next works were with two of his fetish directors, Sergio Castellito, with whom he shot ‘Volver a nacer’ in 2012, and Pedro Almodóvar. In ‘The Passenger Lovers’, Cruz had a minor role as the person in charge of transporting the suitcases from the airport where the film starts.
‘The Counselor’ (2013)
And if we talk about great directors that Penelope Cruz has worked with, we cannot forget the enormous Ridley Scott, who took control of this film with a script by Cormac McCarthy in which the counselor (Michael Fassbender) is a lawyer who he earns his living advising criminals involved in drug trafficking and whose wife of his life is Laura (Cruz).
‘Ma ma’ (2014)
Julio Medem also called our most international actress to star, along with Luis Tosar and Asier Etxeandía, in ‘Ma ma’, a drama about an unemployed teacher who struggles to raise her son and who is diagnosed with breast cancer. At the same time, he will start a strange relationship with Arturo, who will become a father to the child.
The film was most surreal and perhaps somewhat unnecessary, but with such a large cast it is logical that Ben Stiller would also like to have Penelope Cruz. Retired ex-supermodels Derek (Stiller) and Hansel (Owen Wilson) return to the catwalks in Rome, where they find themselves involved in a sinister conspiracy investigating agent Valentina (Cruz).
‘The queen of Spain’ (2016)
After a brief role in ‘Counterintelligent Agent’ (2016), by Sacha Baron Cohen, Penélope Cruz resumed her role as ‘The girl in your eyes’, but 20 years later. Fernando Trueba also directed this story in which the star Macarena Granada returns to Spain after a brilliant career in Hollywood to give life to Queen Isabel de Castilla.
‘Loving Pablo’ (2017)
In ‘Loving Pablo’, Penélope Cruz stepped into the shoes of journalist Virginia Vallejo, a journalist who knows drug trafficker Pablo Escobar (Javier Bardem) just as the Medellín cartel is being founded. With him will begin an exciting story that was directed by Fernando León de Aranoa according to Vallejo’s book ‘Loving Pablo, hating Escobar’.
‘Murder on the Orient Express’ (2017)
Despite having an exceptional cast (Michelle Pfeiffer, Willem Dafoe, Johnny Depp, Lucy Boynton, Judi Dench, Olivia Colman and our Penelope), Kenneth Branagh, the director and protagonist, failed to make a good – let alone entertaining – adaptation of the Agatha Christie classic. Better the version of Sydney Lumet of 1974.
‘Everyone knows’ (2018)
Asghar Farhadi directed a host of artists from both sides of the pond (Penélope, Javier Bardem, Ricardo Darín, Inma Cuesta, Eduard Fernández, Bárbara Lennie, Elvira Mínguez, Sara Sálamo) … for this crime and mystery film that starts when Laura (Cruz), a Spaniard who has lived in Buenos Aires for a long time, returns to her country for a family wedding.
‘Pain and glory’ (2019)
Once again, Penelope Cruz walked the red carpet at the Oscars as part of the ‘Pain and Glory’ team, the last film by Pedro Almodóvar at the time, which was a candidate for Best International Film. In it, Penelope plays the protagonist’s mother, the young Salvador, in a film with biographical dyes by the La Mancha director.
‘The wasp network’ (2019)
What is currently the last released Penelope Cruz film has gone directly to the Netflix streaming platform and has received good reviews from the public and professionals. Cruz plays Olga, the wife of a Cuban pilot who steals a plane and flees the island to infiltrate dangerous anti-Castro organizations.
Via: ELLE ES
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