By Mack Chico
Penelope Cruz won the first Academy Award of the night Sunday, claiming the supporting-actress honor as a tempestuous artist in Woody Allen’s Spanish romance “Vicky Cristina Barcelona.”
The win capped a big weekend for Cruz, fresh off her win Saturday for the same prize at the Spirit Awards honoring independent film. “Vicky Cristina Barcelona” features Cruz as an unstable Spaniard in a steamy three-way affair with her ex-husband and an American woman.
“Has anybody ever fainted here? Because I might be the first one,” Cruz said, who went on with warm thanks to Allen. “Thank you, Woody, for trusting me with this beautiful character. Thank you for having written all these years some of the greatest characters for women.”
It’s the fifth time an Allen film has earned a performer a supporting-acting honor. Cruz joins past Allen collaborators Dianne Wiest, a dual Oscar winner for “Hannah and Her Sisters” and “Bullets Over Broadway”; Michael Caine for “Hannah and Her Sisters”; and Mira Sorvino for “Mighty Aphrodite.”
The award was presented by five past supporting-actress winners, including last year’s, Tilda Swinton, plus Eva Marie Saint, Anjelica Huston, Whoopi Goldberg and Goldie Hawn.