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Penélope Cruz names her three favourite movies of all time


An icon of Spanish cinema as well as a model, philanthropist and charity worker, Penélope Cruz became an international sensation throughout the beginning of the 21st century. Known for her acting range, appearing in various eclectic roles throughout her celebrated career, Cruz has gained a band of loyal supporters, particularly following her roles in the films of Pedro Almodóvar which catapulted her to worldwide recognition.

Appearing alongside Matt Damon in Billy Bob Thornton’s All the Pretty Horses for one of her first significant mainstream roles, Cruz initially struggled to transfer the gravity of her performance to her English-speaking roles, though quickly grasped the language to go on to work alongside filmmaking giants including Woody Allen and Ridley Scott. 

Whilst it was such roles as Sofia in Vanilla Sky and Maria in Vicky Cristina Barcelona, for which she was nominated for an Oscar, no collaboration would do more for her artistic career than her continuing work with Almodóvar. From Volver, to Broken Embraces, to I’m So Excited, each new step she takes with the decorated Spanish filmmaker reveals a side of the actress that no one has previously seen. 

Speaking to The Golden Globes back in 2013, Cruz revealed her favourite films of all time for her fans across the world, mentioning some world cinema classics in the process. 

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Her first choice goes to the Federico Fellini classic 8 ½, a strange movie about a film director who finds solace and inspiration in dreams and fantasy. When the likes of David Lynch and Terry Gilliam constructed their iconic dream sequences in Mulholland Drive and Brazil, there’s no doubt they had Federico Fellini’s 8 ½ in mind, with the opening scene being one of the greatest of all time. 

Love in the Afternoon is Cruz’s second pick, a rom-com from Billy Wilder that follows a middle-aged playboy who becomes fascinated by the daughter of a private detective who has been hired to trap him. A classic, seductive romantic comedy starring Audrey Hepburn, Gary Cooper and John McGiver, Love in the Afternoon often finds its way onto lists of the finest love stories of all time. 

Staying loyal to Pedro Almodóvar’s spectacular filmography, Cruz told the publication that her final favourite movie was Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!, a movie from 1989 starring the likes of Antonio Banderas, Victoria Abril and Rossy de Palma. Telling the story of an alluring yet unbalanced former mental patient who takes a porn star prisoner in the hopes of marriage, this is a classic comedic Almodóvar affair.

Penélope Cruz Cruz’s three favourite films of all time

  • 8 ½ (Federico Fellini, 1963)
  • Love in the Afternoon (Billy Wilder, 1957)
  • Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down! (Pedro Almodóvar, 1989)