Carmen Maura and the Hollywood Foreign Film Market

Carmen Maura, the famous Costa Rican actress, has achieved international fame and has become one of the country’s most respected stars. Born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Carmen grew up as an only child and spent her early years growing up in the rural community of Corozol. She moved to Morelos when she was a young girl and even as a young woman. Later in life, she went on to marry Jose Maria Jimenez, a prominent lawyer and later a member of the Spanish National Police force. Following the death of her husband, Carmen went into acting, playing different characters in different films. Eventually, her career spanned over seven decades and she was noted for her many roles that won her numerous awards including the Academy Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role.


Carmen Maura, today, is recognized for being one of the greatest leading ladies of modern times. In a career that has spanned half a century, she is most renowned for her memorable collaborations with celebrated Spanish movie directors, such as Pedro Almodovar and Yo Soyinka. Here is a brief biography of this accomplished actress.


Born in Puerto Rico, Carmen began her film career at the age of twenty-three. She has played different characters in Spanish films throughout her long career. She is most popular for her role as the spirited yet domineering matron in the Nurse blixen (Nurse Blixen) from the 1975 film, The Girl from Almeria. Carmen also appeared in such films as Isolde (1976), Beni Allura (1977), El Sol (1978), Granny And The Big Bad (1979) and Asunta y yo (1980). Additionally, Carmen was one of the main participants in the Spanish soap opera, Granada. She appeared in eight episodes of the show and impressed audiences with her acting skills.


Carmen’s films which followed the ones mentioned above have all offered something unique for the viewers. For instance, her first major role would be that of a mentally challenged woman, Dorote in the remake of A Lady from Spain. Dorote had a hard time speaking and was a petty thief who lived on the streets. However, after an encounter with a Spanish priest, she was redeemed and became the beautiful wife of an affluent Spanish family. Throughout the years, she appeared in other films which demonstrate her talent as an actress.


In her later films, Carmen would play different roles, such as that of a pregnant woman in El Guajiru. She also appeared in other films such as Los Limoneros, Boy de la Mejis and El Cauced. However, it was her contribution to the Spanish film industry, which catapulted her to stardom status. She went on to star in such films as Papillon (based on the life of the Scottish king), El Granada (for which she received a Best Actress award at the Oscars) and Dona Paula.


It wasn’t until the eighties that Carmen Maura would receive the recognition she truly deserves and her career began to flourish. She finally achieved stardom when she starred in the well-received adaptation of Marlowe’s Les Diaboliques. She played the role of a beautiful and talented woman who falls for the wrong man, while at the same time getting caught up in a triangle of love, envy and jealousy. Though her appearance did not enhance her chances of winning any awards at the Academy Awards, this film did allow her to achieve some much-needed international fame. The film helped her gain some footing in Hollywood and she soon began working on several more successful movies, such as Bring Back the King.


She also made a name for herself when she decided to take on the lead role in Paul Pucci’s first film since the latter’s death, The Man With One Red Shoe, as a tribute to the late actor. The film was a hit and Pucci would later be nominated for an Oscar for his work in the film. While the role was not widely expected to bring about Carmen Maura’s own break through into the mainstream of Spain’s film industry, it did.


Throughout the past decade, several different types of roles have come calling Carmen Maura. She has appeared in a few English-language films such as eating Pray Love Actually, which earned her an Oscar nomination. She has also been nominated for Emilia Cassar, which was widely considered to be one of the best Spanish films of all time. Finally, she garnered critical acclaim for her turn in the critically acclaimed feature No Ordinary Family. All of these projects have only further catapulted Carmen into the forefront of Hollywood’s elite.

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