Oscar Awards 2022: Four Spaniards will step on the red carpet of the Oscars | Oscar Awards 2022


Only on three other previous occasions, a marriage of actors had achieved two Oscar nominations in the same year. And never one of the couple got it in a language other than English. Javier Bardem, with his work in Being the Ricardos, and Penelope Cruz, for parallel mothers, have reached this milestone. Bardem, who was the first of both to appear before the press, was more aware of this difficulty: “The fact that Penelope’s nomination is for a role in Spanish, and in her case for the second time [de las cuatro en que ha sido finalista]It seems to me something extraordinary and historic, speaking of the Spain brand”. The actor told it in the lounge of a central Madrid hotel, two hours after being nominated for an Oscar. The 52-year-old interpreter confessed: “Personally, I am very happy, but more especially for Penelope. Mine would not have made sense without his, it would not have been a celebration. And the fact that it happens at the same time seems magical to me.” A while later, in the kitchen of El Deseo, the producer of the Almodóvar brothers, Cruz, 47, recalled that they had seen the ad together and embraced: “First his candidacy went and he remained silent, while I shouted. Then mine, a ‘I’m not going to be with so many actresses with c [en referencia a que primero se han leído los nombres de Jessica Chastain y Olivia Colman]’, and when I heard mine I couldn’t stop laughing and crying. I fell to the ground.”

Penélope Cruz, at the Venice Film Festival, in 2021.

It is not the first time that Spain adds four Oscar nominations. There have even been days of greater glory in the candidacies. In 2007 there was Penélope Cruz, candidate for Returnand thanks to the Mexican-Spanish co-production The Pan’s Labyrinth, from Guillermo del Toro, the finalists were the Mexican Eugenio Caballero and the Spanish Pilar Revuelta in artistic direction (they won it); Javier Navarrete, for best soundtrack, and David Martí and Montse Ribé for makeup (they also won the Oscar). And in short fiction there was also a double candidacy: Borja Cobeaga, for We were few, and Javier Fesser, for Binta and the great idea.

Bardem, who will compete for the statuette against Benedict Cumberbatch (dog power), Andrew Garfield (Tick, tick… Boom!), Will Smith (Williams method) Y Denzel Washington (Macbeth), has also lamented that the film by Fernando León de Aranoa the good bossin which he has the leading role, has not entered the Oscar nominations: “I have to say that I am very happy about some things and very sad about others, considering that I am sorry that he is not the good boss. He was hopeful that he could make it to that final quintet [de filmes nominados a película internacional] because of how people in the United States reacted.” He has also highlighted that “the absence of Pedro Almodóvar” hurts him.

Asked why it would mean for him to win his second Oscar – he already won a statuette for his supporting role in No country for old men—, Bardem has replied that he does not see himself as a favorite and that the nomination is already an award: “I am not going to get it, I am not Will Smith. Excuse me, what I said seems to be that Will Smith is in the race to get to … he does a great job. There’s also Benedict Cumberbatch, who does a wonderful job, doing something extraordinarily different in it. Then there is Andrew Garfield, who is a guy who does, and sings, and dances…”. And he added: “And Denzel Washington, who is that animal that walks around, who doesn’t care what he does. Whenever he opens his mouth, I’m stuck looking at him”. tucked into fortunetellerbelieves that the possibility of Penélope Cruz winning was more open, after the absence of the one who had struggled the most to be a candidate, Lady Gaga (The Gucci house): “Mine is impossible, Penelope’s doesn’t seem so far away.”

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Bardem, who was already interested in playing Desi Arnaz six years ago at the beginning of the project, even before it was led by Aaron Sorkin, thought it important to clarify before some comments about a non-Cuban interpreter giving life to Arnaz: “We are actors , we go beyond sexual orientations or ethnic groups. Art can only be judged by the beauty of the act, and if we put patches or limits on it, that art remains in a very poor place”. Between jokes and truth, he pointed out that no one then who was not Danish could be Hamlet, or that he himself would not find work in international productions: “I am a Spanish minority. And I have only embodied two Spaniards in filming abroad: in Vicky Cristina Barcelona, because it takes place here, and in Pirates of the Caribbean. We are minorities representing minorities.”

Bardem has also remembered his mother, the actress Pilar Bardem, who died in July 2021, of whom she wore just a ring on her right hand: “I know that my mother was very excited about these things. She always prayed to her saints and her parents for good things to happen to us. And I know that my mother at this moment must be enjoying it and laughing. And of course I’ve talked to her, before and after her, and dedicated it to her.”

Before Bardem and Cruz, three marriages were candidates in the same year: Vivien Leigh, for gone With the Wind and Laurence Olivier, for Wuthering Heights; Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, for Who’s afraid of Virginia Woolf?and Rachel Roberts, for the naive savage and Rex Harrison for Cleopatra. “Watching TV we were not aware that we were making history in Spain. We recognize the difficulty of the matter. I do not want to give us an importance that we do not have. But starting with my uncle Juan Antonio, who was a candidate just half a century before I won it, Spanish cinematography is much loved abroad, and highly respected when they come to shoot here”. Reflective, he pointed out: “I’m not saying that we have to support Spanish cinema more, but we do have to criminalize it less.” By the way, actors Jesse Plemons and Kirsten Dunst, for The power of the dog.

From Almodóvar’s kitchen

Cruz defined herself in the production company of El Deseo, after receiving congratulations from Pedro Almodóvar, who was waiting to congratulate her, “crazy as a cowbell, with pure happiness.” The actress told her that she has missed nominations for Almodóvar in direction or original script. And she remembered that she had fallen in the living room of her house “like she did when she the first time with Return”. “I spent an hour and a half crying and laughing, until my mother and sister arrived.” Both Bardem and Cruz have earned their fourth Oscar nomination. After remembering that the other three candidacy readings caught him in Los Angeles, he confessed: “Today has been magical, much more exciting because Javier was also there”. And he has recalled “how intense and wonderful” the filming of Parallel mothers. “That it is with Pedro is so exciting and incredible. I’m happy, and, ugh, it’s my fourth candidacy, something surreal. We have to celebrate it.” Thirty years have passed now Ham Ham, which meant Cruz’s great launch, as well as her first job with her current husband. “A week after finishing that shoot, I felt so lost. I thought the same was the first and last chance. I maintain that insecurity, and it comes from something logical: we depend on the trust of others”.

The actress has spoken fondly “of Pedro Almodóvar’s writing, done freely, without judging any character”, which makes her Janis very human, “and no one can blame her for becoming the best liar in the world.” world”. And about her possibilities: “I haven’t had time to think about that. Everything is going very fast… Let me enjoy this, I want to see the video again to see if it’s true”. Nothing is going to change her future: “I will continue shooting a movie, at most two a year. I live here in Madrid, my children are my priority, I always did the Hollywood thing with a return ticket. I can’t love Spain more. I feel like one more Spaniard, and the things that happen to me… They surprise me the first”.

A moment from 'The Windshield Wipe', by Alberto Mielgo
A moment from ‘The Windshield Wipe’, by Alberto Mielgo

For the composer Alberto Iglesias (San Sebastián, 66 years old), this is also his fourth candidacy, although the first for a Spanish film, and with Almodóvar, with whom he has a long and fruitful collaboration. Speaking to the Europa Press agency, after telling that the ad had caught him with a piece of lettuce in his mouth, he confessed that he did not know how to “guess”, although he was “very excited” to achieve it because it would be “something extraordinary”. . Of course, he defined himself as “pessimistic”, because in front of him is Hans Zimmer, with the soundtrack of dunes, and the German (“An institution within Hollywood”) has only won an Oscar after 12 nominations. “The rest of the nominees are very good songwriters,” he assured. After lamenting the absence of Almodóvar in the candidacies, she said: “I am very excited about the candidacy with him, because I have been collaborating with Pedro for 20 years in a very exhaustive job.” Iglesias was a candidate with The loyal gardener (2006), kites in the sky (2008) and The mole (2012). In addition, she has won 11 Goya awards, the last one for pain and glory And on Saturday he will compete for another one, although he is a candidate for his score for Maixabel.

Finally, the animated short The Windshield Wipe, by Alberto Mielgo, has also entered the Oscars. Mielgo, a creator with a lot of work behind him, and who, for example, directed The witness in the first installment of Love, Death & Robots, of Netflix, premiered the film at the last edition of the Cannes festival, in the Directors’ Fortnight section. “Since it takes the same time to make a short film than a feature film, I don’t differentiate it,” he clarified in France. The Windshield Wipe travels through different cities, shows various thoughts about love and the couple, plays with animation to immerse the viewer in this globalized world. “I have been drawing the places I have been, from there the creative composition is born, which adds photographs. And then I go to the characters, each one different, with their own personality”, explained Mielgo. “I close the script in the story board, that’s where I am, that’s where my work is”. In France he insisted: “Despite the great advances in recent years in the vindication of animation, more struggle is still needed, especially the adult one.”


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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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