The Santa Barbara International Film Festival is honoring an actress known for breathing dramatic life into unforgettable characters: Penélope Cruz.
The festival announced Ms. Cruz will receive the Montecito Award on March 8 during a conversation about her career leading up to her performance in this year’s “Parallel Mothers,” a Sony Pictures Classic movie written by Pedro Almodóvar.
“In the most complex role written by the master Almodovar, Penelope Cruz delivers the best performance of her career and a master class in calibration and detailed acting,” SBIFF Executive Director Roger Durling said in a news release. “In my book, she’s one of the great performers of our time.”
In “Parallel Mothers,” Janis (Ms. Cruz) and Ana (Milena Smit) meet in a hospital room where they are going to give birth. Both are single and became pregnant by accident. Janis, middle-aged, doesn’t regret it and she is exultant. The other, Ana, an adolescent, is scared, repentant and traumatized.
In addition to “Parallel Mothers,” Ms. Cruz, who was born in Madrid, recently played Graciela Rivera, a therapist working with spies, in “The 355.” As the plot thickens, she becomes a spy herself, working with female spies from other nations in an impromptu, joint effort to save the world.
Past recipients of the Montecito Award include Amanda Seyfried, Lupita Nyong’o, Melissa McCarthy, Saoirse Ronan, Isabelle Huppert, Sylvester Stallone, Jennifer Aniston, Oprah Winfrey, Daniel Day-Lewis, Geoffrey Rush, Julianne Moore, Kate Winslet, Naomi Watts and Javier Bardem.
The 37th Santa Barbara International Film Festival will take place in person March 2 through March 12.
It will feature more than 200 movies, filmmaker Q&As, industry panels and celebrity tributes throughout Santa Barbara, including the Arlington Theatre.
For more information, go to sbiff.org.