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Spanish actress Penelope Cruz brings glamour to the festival for the screening of her film Broken Embraces, directed by Pedro Almodovar. (MARIO ANZUONI)
Spanish actress Penelope Cruz brings glamour to the festival for the screening of her film Broken Embraces, directed by Pedro Almodovar. (MARIO ANZUONI)

Penelope Cruz(es) onto the red carpet Add to ...

Penelope Cruz whirled down the red carpet at the Elgin Theatre just five minutes before her film, flashing her dazzling smile.

But she ducked out of the theatre a few minutes later, returning to chat at length with the assembled media mass.

The Spanish star of Pedro Almodovar's latest film, Broken Embraces, Cruz plays an aspiring actress torn between allegiances and lovers who captivates everyone she meets.

I'll be sitting down for separate interviews with Cruz and her co-star, Lluis Homar (who deftly plays a film director whose life is torn in two), so stay tuned.

After successively screening films about the Vietnam War, repression in Iran, Cold War espionage and the Rwandan genocide, Broken Embraces offered some much-needed laughs -- though by no means comedic in genre, parts of it are wickedly witty.

The same goes for Men Who Stare At Goats, based at least loosely on real events surrounding a secret psychic unit in the U.S. Army, which split more than a few sides at this afternoon's Press and Industry screening. The most sobering moment of this farcical film? A message in the opening moments that warns: "More of this is true than you would believe."

Really, you need to see it to half-believe it.

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Full festival coverage: TIFF 2009

 

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