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More than a nine

November 18, 2009|Elizabeth Snead

Penelope Cruz has made four films with her director-writer mentor, Pedro Almodovar. And needless to say, they have walked countless red carpets together over the last decade.

Now she's heading into the 2010 award season with two strong Oscar-buzz films: Almodovar's "Broken Embraces" and Rob Marshall's "Nine."

Almodovar recently told the New York Times that Cruz has matured as an actress. "Penelope can do everything; she has become an eternal, ageless woman."

And it's worth noting that her devotion to Almodovar still knows no bounds. She wore butt padding for her starring role in "Volver." Now that's trust.

Unquestionably, Cruz's latest fashion choices also display a new maturity and a stronger sense of self-awareness than those seen in her early red carpet strolls.

In 2000, she was a girlish fresh face at the Golden Globes, wearing a simple white gown by Ralph Lauren and accompanied by Almodovar.

And at the 2000 Oscars, she was a bright spot in an uncomplicated turquoise Ralph Lauren satin gown. That night, she even presented an award to Almodovar for his film "All About My Mother."

In 2006, when the two appeared at the "Volver" premiere in Cannes, she wore a stunningly confident red strapless gown.

And at the 2009 Cannes premiere of "Broken Embraces," she was elegant in a lavender Marchesa gown.

At the New York Film Festival this year, she chose an unusual gray satin Haider Ackermann gown topped by an asymetrical zip jacket.

"I just know what I like and what I don't like, and the fittings usually go very fast," Cruz says. "The most important thing for me is if it's comfortable, not necessarily what someone thinks is in fashion or is right for the moment. I know very quickly if [a gown] is not right."

That's not to say she's unaware of how much focus is on actresses and their gowns these days. It's all part of the job, she says.

"It's like a parallel thing that you have to learn how to deal with, whether you like it or not. But I try not to make a big deal out of it."

Sounds like that effortless style of hers really is effortless.


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