USA Today - 09/22/2000
"...Cruz charmingly plays Isabella, a sultry enchantress who has been given one gift and one curse from the gods..."
Sight and Sound - 02/01/2001
"...A genuine mystical feel..."
Rolling Stone - 10/12/2001
"...The Brazilian songs, performed by Paulinho Moska, give the film a romantic lilt....Cruz is a dish..."
Box Office - 05/01/2000
"...Cruz is stunning -- innocent and vulnerable yet possessing a mature grace and determined strength, all while sizzling with unchecked sensuality..."
Chicago Sun-Times - 09/22/2000
"...Cruz is bewitching all through the movie..."
Director Fina Torres presents a sweet and sour love story/fairy tale with WOMAN ON TOP, the quirky story of Isabella (Penelope Cruz) a top-notch chef and glowing beauty who suffers from motion sickness. Playing up all of these characteristics, the film explores two of Cruz's love affairs: one with a restaurant-owner, and the other with the television producer of a cooking program. A captivating, sometimes hilarious story, WOMAN ON TOP is a romantic and fun film with a lively Brazilian spirit.
Venezuelan filmmaker Fina Torres's (CELESTIAL CLOCKWORK) third feature is a colorful, comedic fantasy about food and love. Beautiful young Brazilian chef Isabella (Penelope Cruz) works at her life's passion: cooking, alongside her sexy restaurateur husband, Toninho (Murilo Benicio). Unfortunately, Isabella is hidden in the kitchen while Toninho takes the credit. In certain situations, though, Isabella must seize control--while driving and while having sex--in order to overcome her crippling motion sickness. Eventually, macho Toninho tires of Isabella being on top in bed, so he cheats on her with another woman. Discovering his tryst, the shattered Isabella flees Brazil for San Francisco, to stay with her friend Monica (Harold Perrineau, Jr.), a fun-loving transvestite. Starting a new life is difficult, however, as Isabella has trouble finding a job and even more trouble forgetting her husband. In desperation, she makes an offering to Yemanja, the goddess of the sea, and asks for help. With Yemanja's help, Isabella meets a handsome television producer, Cliff (Mark Feuerstein), who wants the lovely chef to be the star of a new cooking show. Just when Isabella's life seems to be falling into place, a distraught Toninho arrives to shake things up. Featuring a heartfelt, truthful performance by Cruz, Torres's tale is one of magical realism, mysticism and true love.
Love Affairs |
Theatrical release: September 22, 2000
Director Fina Torres's debut feature, ORIANA, won the prestigious Camera d'Or at the 1985 Cannes Film Festival.
Torres spent two years researching and gathering the Brazilian music for the film's soundtrack.