A Delicious Cruz

Among a crowd of eager photographers, viciously possessive of their shooting spot, I pop my head over shoulders with the help of my handy heels. With fans yelling at the black cars, the stunning Penelope Cruz appears down the left side of the red carpet. All in black save for a pair of diamond earrings, Cruz proceeds down the carpet in her classy but casual wear, compared to Bai Ling's aquamarine gown. She sports a dress, hugging the ribcage and flaring to the knee, below a ponytail of wavy hair and above black tights and heels. Radiating of modesty, the Spanish enchantress, as Roger Durling dubs her, actually smiles for the dazzling cameras instead of pouting or doing the thrust-the chin-forward stance.
The award ceremony begins. One of the Dana Morrow introductory short films is shown and then president of the SBIFF board of directors, Jeff Barbakow, opens followed by the festival's executive director Roger Durling and Chopin Vodka's senior business manager Sarah Gorvitz.
Durling best portrays Penelope Cruz: the ideal woman-muse, "earthy and sometimes vulgar, but still without losing that natural glamour." Most of all, it's this beauty's accent that charms us all, "It's delicious!" as Durling exclaims more than once during the hour-and-a-half long interview. Putting her up there with Italian goddess Sophia Loren, Durling paints Cruz as today's woman icon.
Between clips of her past movies, Durling and Cruz discuss her life, movies, and latest Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress in Vicky Cristina Barcelona. Cruz speaks of the movie's director, Woody Allen, as an expert and fascinating individual with "no social veneer as many have in our industry," she says, "It's all part of a strategy. He keeps actors in present day." From "Belle ~Apoque," "Don't Move," "Blow," "Volver," to "Elegy," we see Penelope Cruz in a procession of different characters all multi-faceted, all difficult. Though a certain beauty, Durling and Josh Brolin assert that Cruz would not have received this award if she had allowed herself to be casted only as the desirable object.
Thus, with a long introduction devoted to Cruz's beauty, Brolin awards Penelope the Outstanding Performer of the Year Award. Thus with elegance and glamour, Cruz takes the crystal symbol and thanks Santa Barbara for expressing so much love for cinema.

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