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Woman on Top (2000)

Penélope Cruz , Murilo Benício , Fina Torres  |  R |  DVD
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (120 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Penélope Cruz, Murilo Benício, Harold Perrineau, Mark Feuerstein, John de Lancie
  • Directors: Fina Torres
  • Writers: Vera Blasi
  • Producers: Fina Torres, Alan Poul, Augusto Casé, Bronwen Hughes, Caíque Martins Ferreira
  • Format: Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Dubbed: French, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox
  • DVD Release Date: February 13, 2001
  • Run Time: 92 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (120 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000056BSA
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #365,911 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Woman on Top" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Recipe Booklet

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
41 of 44 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hot, Sizzling Chef on "Top" in Every Way August 14, 2007
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Penelope Cruz sizzles in her role as Isabella, a charming and seductive chef in a small Brazilian seaside resort called Bahia. She marries Toninho Oliveira (played by Murilo Benecio) who is a initially a waiter and later the owner of the restaurant where she wows the customers with her spicey and delicious original meals. They marry and are ecstatically happy, except there is one issue which complicates their life: Isabella suffers from motion sickness. Unfortunately, her husband Toninho makes one *fatal* mistake due to his frustration based on this issue. When Isabella discovers Toninho's fatal mistake, Isabella chooses to embark on a journey. First, she pays homage to the goddess of the sea in Bahia before leaving on her trip to the USA. She had received many offers of jobs as a chef in the USA and chose to try out her luck in San Francsico ...

There, Isabella looks up her childhood friend, Monica, who lives an alternate lifestyle which provides some comical scenes in the film. Other interesting features are the flashbacks to their childhood when Isabella first developed her cooking skills and discovered her talent. In San Francisco, Isabella loses out on a fantastic opportunity to work in 5 star restaurant but amazingly this loss turns out to be a major advantage. She becomes the favorite chef at a cooking school and is discovered by a young television producer. He is enticed not only by Isabella's beauty but also by her delicious food. He sells the network on creating a cooking program where Isabella is the star ... naturally she is an instant success.

Meanwhile, Toninho is very lonely in Bahia. He is remorseful for his past behavior and makes some offerings to the goddess of the sea with the hope of reuniting with his wife.
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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A pleasure to watch. Totally entertaining. August 10, 2003
This is beautiful and sensual movie filled with Brazilian culture and folklore that is a feast to your senses. You can almost feel the burn of the chili pepper and smell the fragrance of the aromatic coffee that makes the San Francisco men follow Isabella in the streets. The movie is colorful and mystical and a large part of its charm is due to the amazing Penelope Cruz (an actress I learned to admire not only for her beauty but also for her acting talent after watching her in the Spanish movie "Sin Noticias de Dios") who totally controls the screen.
Isabella (Penelope Cruz) has had the motion sickness since she was a little girl. She feels bad in every kind of motion, unless she controls the movement - this is also true regarding sex; she has to lead. Isabella is a cook in her husband's restaurant. She does well and cooks delicious foods, but somehow feels neglected - as she is left back in the kitchen. Tonino (Murilo Benicio), her husband, feels he is not a man enough being "led" by his wife. And so, one night Isabella catches him in the hands of another woman, and runs away to San Francisco to try and build a new life for herself. She hopes to try and relive her dreams of fame which she threw away when she married Tonino. Isabella heads to San Francisco to live with her old friend Monica, a transvestite.
In San Francisco Isabella gains fame by having her own cooking show. She is also courted by Cliff (Mark Feuerstein), the producer of the show, who is attracted to the Brazilian magic. Meanwhile back in Bahaia Tonino is facing a lot of trouble. Having cursed Yimanza, the goddess of the sea, in a burst of anger, bad luck knocks on his door. All the fisherman are upset at him as the fish do not come to their nets.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One Of The Best Movies Ever!!! April 30, 2004
"Woman on Top" was one of the best movies I've ever seen. The bedroom love scenes were some of the most beautifully portrayed and sensual that I've ever seen without all of the nudity and vulgarity usually portrayed in American made movies. The scenes of the beautiful,Bahia,Brazil especially it's Peulorinho district where Isabella and Toninho live are also very beautifully portrayed and no place in the world is more lovely than the Peulorinho at night. Having travelled to Bahia I can testify that Bahia definitely has a magical feel and visitors to Bahia often remark,"Bahia Enfeitica" which means "Bahia casts its spell on you" and well it might given the number of African deities called Orixas that are worshipped in Bahia. Yemanja is often referred to as the "Mother of the Orixas" and offerings are frequently made to Her by Brazilians to incur Her blessings especially on New Year's Eve where everyone in Brazil goes to the beach at night with their offerings in hand all dressed in white. This movie is far from a fairytale as it beautifully portrays how the Orixas are very much appreciated in the daily lives of Brazilians.The directors of this movie were thoughtful enough to engage well-known Candomble priestesses Mae Lucia and Mae Stella to get an accurate portrayal of Candodmble and it's rituals. I thought that Penelope Cruz and Murilo Benicio did a wonderful job as a married couple and they have a wonderful chemistry together on the screen and although both have their flaws as individuals they learn by combining their strengths how to create the perfect dish. I highly recommend this DVD to people especially those that have an interest in Bahia and Candomble or just want to view a beautifully,portrayed love story. The soundtrack is also a wonderful addition to the movie. Yemanja be praised!!!
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